J352 Luvable Dog Rescue Backgrounder

Anissa Hare



Backgrounder Luvable Dog Rescue

Pit bull ban in Montreal highlights the need for specialized adoption


Since the pit bull ban in Montreal, which passed on September 27, 2016, the media has facilitated miscommunication and confusion surrounding the blocky-headed breed. The Canadian bylaw merely states “Staffordshire bull terriers, American pit bull terriers, mixes of these breeds, dogs with these characteristics” which leaves a lot of room for personal opinion and ambiguity.

This fear surrounding pit bulls is an idea propagated by media. To combat this misperception there are rescues, such as Luvable Dog Rescue, that focus on matching pit bulls with responsible adopters that will help improve the reputation of the breed. This is conducted through careful selection, extended trial periods, and tireless work from Luvable’s personal trainer, Ashley Olsen.

The History of Luvable Dog Rescue

Luvable Dog Rescue first opened its doors as a “pit bull only rescue in” 1999. Liesl Wilhardt, the founder, then expanded the rescue to include smaller dogs. Over time, the property began to expand as well, starting with a main kennel and eventually several colorful cottages to house the dogs. With a staff of determined women and plenty of long-time volunteers, Luvable helps hundreds of dogs every year find their forever home.

Day in the Life

The morning shift arrives at the main kennel at 9:00 am. It’s usually two kennel techs and Liesl Wilhardt, the owner, bustling during the early hours. While Liesl is walking the first round of pit bulls, the kennel techs are preparing breakfast with specialized diets and medications for over 40 dogs.

This includes the “puppy shift” whose only objective for the day to is to feed and clean the various litters of puppies. That entails a deep scrub of the floor, changing of sheets, letting the mother dog use the restroom and so much more. In order to minimize illness, the puppy shift must also change clothes between litters and once in contact with a sick group, the kennel tech cannot return to a healthy group.

The rules are strict but with good reason. Many dogs arrive at Luvable with illnesses, such as kennel cough, fleas, and parvovirus, all of which are highly contagious and dangerous to the immune systems of the puppies. While these dogs pose a danger to healthy dogs, they are secluded into quarantined groups for 14 days and constantly monitored by staff.

After their quarantine period expires, dogs are able to be spayed, neutered, microchipped and vaccinated before attending local Petsmart adoption events. These events are posted regularly on instragram and Facebook in order to promote interest for potential adopting families.



About Adopting

Adopting a dog, whether adult or puppy, is a significant responsibility! At Luvable, we strive to make the process as easy as possible. While adding a new family member can be an adjustment, Olsen works directly with every family to help them with their individual issues.

It all starts with what we like to call an “interest indicator” which helps specifify what type of dog you’re interested in, such as small breeds, energetic attitudes or a specific color. Other specifications include fenced yards, past pets, and references. This allows our adoptions counselor, Rosie Finkelstein, to determine the right dog for the right family.

The next step is setting up an appointment with Ashley Olsen, the adoptions manager and trainer. The family is then invited out to the Luvable Dog Rescue for an opportunity to meet as many dogs as they feel necessary until they’ve found “the one”.

After paying a deposit, which applies to the total adoption fee, each family has seven days to decide on whether or not the dog is a good fit for their family. That means if on day three, Fido chews through the couch, he can be returned to Luvable without a problem.

Luvable also has a “furr-ever” policy of its own. Later, if the family no longer feels like they can provide for their dog, we are happy to take the dog back in order to avoid being placed in the high-kill shelter system. There is no expiration on this offer as Luvable cares for the wellbeing each of its dogs individually.

This policy results from Olsen’s strong belief in responsible adopting, meaning a concerted effort to match every dog with the right family.

Overall, Luvable Dog Rescue is a sanctuary for dogs of all ages, breeds and size. It’s a place where staff truly care about the wellbeing of the dogs and strive to find them the perfect home, all while consid

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