Provincial Dog Rehabilitation

PDRC grand opening water treadmill

Dogs come into the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society’s animal centres for a variety of reasons. Not all require the same type of support. While the dogs stay with us, we provide them with the care and attention they need, including addressing any behavioural challenges. Our Provincial Dog Rehabilitation program provides individualized training strategies to help the animals in our care become comfortable with their surroundings, identify special care requirements, and to meet their needs. Our rehabilitation program is available in all Ontario SPCA animal centres across the province. A VIP status indicates animals within the rehabilitation program.

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VIP – Very Important Paws

What is a VIP Animal? These are animals in the care of the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society who may need a little extra help. The program allows our Animal Behaviour Coordinators to set these buddies up for success in our animal centres using evidence-based training and Fear Free® techniques in conjunction with dedicated animal care teams across the province.

Animals with a VIP designation could include a puppy needing help learning new behaviours and getting acquainted to the world around them, an adolescent dog going through the terrible teens, or an adult buddy who may be unsure of new and difficult changes in their lives.

What does this mean for bringing home a VIP friend? Our animal centre staff will offer a more individualized care plan, including information sheets and a training and enrichment plan that has been implemented and proven successful. Our goal is to empower new adopters to set their adopted animal up for a long, happy life. Some of our VIP friends will still need additional training and extra love once adopted into a home. Others may just need the relief of a comfortable and supportive environment. Very Important Paws means Very Important People and a Very Important Placement for these animals.

VIP Dogs Available for Adoption


dog rehabilitation centre grand opening
Photo credit: McAvoy.com

Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre

As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society, we are excited to launch the Ontario SPCA Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre, one of the first facilities of its kind in Ontario.

Located inside the Peterborough Humane Society’s new Animal Care Centre, the Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre has been custom built to help dogs who need more individualized care than a typical animal centre can provide to help them get adopted. Operated by the Ontario SPCA’s Animal Behaviour team, the centre supports dogs from animal centres across the province. It contains several unique features:

  • An underwater treadmill for enrichment and low-impact exercise
  • The Arlo Gattuso-Slaight Dog Living Room to help dogs practice appropriate behaviours in a home environment
  • Training rooms to help dogs overcome behavioural challenges and learn to socialize
  • Dedicated animal behavioural experts focused on each dog’s unique needs

Together, we can turn things around for dogs in need of behavioural rehabilitation to give them the second chance they deserve.

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Learn more about the impact of Dog Rehabilitation:

FAQs

What is the Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre?
The Ontario SPCA Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre is one of the first facilities of its kind in Ontario. The centre has been custom built to help dogs who need more individualized care than a typical animal centre can provide to help them get adopted.
What makes this facility unique?

The Ontario SPCA Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre has been custom built to help dogs who need more individualized care than a typical animal centre can provide. Operated by the Ontario SPCA’s Animal Behaviour team, it provides evidence-based behavioural support to help dogs overcome challenges so they are able to find a loving home.

The Ontario SPCA Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre contains a number of unique features, including:

  1. An underwater treadmill for enrichment and low-impact exercise
  2. The Arlo Gattuso-Slaight Dog Living Room to help dogs practice appropriate behaviours in a home environment
  3. Training rooms to help dogs overcome behavioural challenges and learn to socialize
  4. Dedicated animal behavioural experts focused on each dog’s unique needs
Does the facility help dogs with behavioural and physical challenges?
At this time the facility is focused on rehabilitating dogs with behavioural challenges. Behavioural support is more commonly requested at our animal centres and we are trying to meet the needs of the communities we serve.
Where is the Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre located?

The Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre operated by the Ontario SPCA’s Animal Behaviour Team and is located inside the Peterborough Humane Society’s new Animal Care Centre.

How will the Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre make a difference in the lives of dogs?

Just like people, dogs are unique and some dogs need a little more help to overcome challenges that may be a barrier in finding a loving home.

Some dogs are afraid of people. Others are fearful and anxious to be left alone. Whether it’s the dog who chews the carpet or has accidents in the house because he’s lived his whole life outdoors, or the puppy who barks too much, dogs with special needs can easily overwhelm animal centres that are already stretched to their limits.

The Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre is a place with the dedicated staff and resources to support these dogs and help prepare them to find loving homes.

What are some of the features of the Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre?

The Ontario SPCA Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre contains a number of unique features, including:

  1. An underwater treadmill for enrichment and low-impact exercise
  2. The Arlo Gattuso-Slaight Dog Living Room to help dogs practice appropriate behaviours in a home environment
  3. Training rooms to help dogs overcome behavioural challenges and learn to socialize
  4. Dedicated animal behavioural experts focused on each dog’s unique needs
How can people support this project?

To donate and give an underdog a second chance, visit ontariospca.ca/dogrehab. As a registered charity that does not receive annual government funding, the Ontario SPCA depends on the generosity of donors to change a life.

Who will oversee the centre?

The Ontario SPCA Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre will be operated by the Ontario SPCA Animal Behaviour Team.

Why Peterborough?

The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society had the opportunity to lease space within the Peterborough Humane Society’s new Animal Care Centre, a 24,000 sq. ft. complex that is also home to their adoption centre and a regional spay/neuter clinic. As the building was being designed from the ground up, it allowed us to custom design the Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre to meet our unique needs.

What makes this centre different than a regular animal centre?

Operated by the Ontario SPCA’s Animal Behaviour team, the Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre supports dogs from animal centres across the province. It contains a number of unique features, including:

  1. An underwater treadmill for enrichment and low-impact exercise
  2. The Arlo Gattuso-Slaight Dog Living Room to help dogs practice appropriate behaviours in a home environment
  3. Training rooms to help dogs overcome behavioural challenges and learn to socialize
  4. Dedicated animal behavioural experts focused on each dog’s unique needs
How are dogs selected to receive rehabilitation?

The Ontario SPCA Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre supports dogs from animal centres across Ontario. Candidates will be determined on a case-by-case basis to ensure we have the capacity and resources to meet that dog’s unique needs.

Can the public send a dog to the centre?

At this time, the Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre is not open to the public. It supports dogs from animal centres across Ontario. The centre is still in its early stages and we will continue to evaluate how we can best meet the needs of the communities we serve.

Is it open to other SPCAs and humane societies?

At this time we are currently supporting dogs from the Ontario SPCA’s 13 animal centres as we assess our capacity to bring in dogs from other partnering organizations.

On average, how much does it cost to rehab a dog?

Cost will vary on a case-by-case basis based on staff resources and duration of treatment required, but averages about $5,000 per dog.

Once a dog is rehabilitated, how does it find a home?

Once a dog is ready to find a loving home, they are posted on the Ontario SPCA adoption site, ontariospca.ca/adopt. You can view animals from our animal centres across the province, or filter by Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre graduates. These special friends are marked with our VIP designation, which stands for Very Important Paws.

How many dogs can be helped at the centre at any given time?

The Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre has eight kennels. We anticipate being able to help about 70 dogs each year.

What is a VIP dog?

VIP stands for Very Important Paws, and these are animals in our care who may need a little extra help. Animals with a VIP designation could include a puppy who needs help learning new behaviours and getting acquainted with the world around them, an adolescent dog going through the terrible teens, or an adult buddy who may be unsure of new and difficult changes in their lives.

Our animal behaviour team creates an individualized plan for each dog, depending on their needs. The plans are created to build trust, overcome challenges and implement appropriate enrichment and socialization.


2023 Impact:

  • 40 dogs supported
  • 25 dogs adopted
  • 160 hrs average of TLC per dog

 

VIEW DOGS FOR ADOPTION

Testimonial

For every animal you save

For every animal you save, every animal who feels loved in their last moments, and for everything else you do; thank you and God Bless.

-Stephanie