About CaliCan Rescue Foundation

CaliCan Rescue Foundation is a small breed dog rescue located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Since our inception in 2009, we have helped close to 700 dogs. We work with local dogs to provide them with

safe and loving homes as well as work with dogs facing high-rate kill shelters in the United States of America

to provide them with safe homes here in Canada. Our organization is run entirely by volunteers meaning that all of our efforts and funds go directly into helping dogs in need.

What is CaliCan’s ultimate goal?

Our goal is to put a dent in puppy mills, provide education on the importance of spaying and neutering your pets, and to encourage adopting over shopping. Every dog deserves a chance to find a loving and nurturing home – we are honoured to have the ability to work with so many individuals and organizations all committed to the same goal. 

How did it all begin?

July 2009 we adopted our dog, Charlie, from the Edmonton Humane Society (EHS). He was part of the California Canine Cuties Transfer Program. A few days after adopting him, we sent a letter to the EHS thanking them for the opportunity to give him a loving home.


In the letter was a link to a webcam page we set up to see what Charlie did all day while we were at work. Charlie’s California Foster Mom found and watched it nearly every day until one day she posted a message and a friendship started.


As the friendship developed, Kathleen identified another dog she was fostering. A chiweenie named Pete, who she said was just like Charlie – could even be brothers. She asked if we know anyone who would adopt him. Pete was flown up in cargo on Alaska Airlines in October 2009 and found a warm dog bed to call his own in our home.


Why only small breed dogs?

The first dog we adopted was a smaller breed, and that was because we were living in a townhome at the time. While volunteering for another rescue, we noticed most of the questions were "Do you have any small breed dogs?". We knew the easiest way to get a small breed dog was to purchase from a pet store (supplied by puppy mills) or through a backyard breeder. 


I hear you bring dogs in from California? Why?

It's how CaliCan started in 2009. Since then, we've increased in taking local surrenders in where our primary focus is now local dogs. We still do bring in dogs from California every 6 weeks, but it's only 7 dogs in that span. We will always help the dogs in California because they NEED help. In Central Valley, California, approximately 60,000-80,000 (reported) dogs are euthanized every year. Central Valley has a population near the size of Edmonton. These numbers are reported from shelters and rescues, and do NOT include those that are found on the side of the road. Chihuahuas and small breeds are the second highest euthanized dogs there. Human beings are the only living species who judge by borders - Dogs do not and that's why we will continue to help them. 


At CaliCan, we work hard to ensure costs are kept low while giving these dogs the best care possible! To do so, we have established pawsitive relationships with vets on both sides of the border. We love the care and compassion the WestJet agents have when handling our dogs on flights, and they have fantastic seat sales that helps us go from Edmonton to Los Angeles.


Do you only help dogs from California?

Not at all! We are committed to ALL dogs and have opened our doors to those locally that are being surrendered and in need of a home. We also network and support other rescue organizations in the Edmonton area, by directing adopters there if we can’t fit with what they’re looking for and cross posting lost dogs when needed.


If I look online and see a dog in a shelter in California that I want, can you bring that dog for me to adopt?

Unfortunately no. While we would love to accomodate special requests, we simply do not operate that way. When dogs are chosen for CaliCan flights, they are chosen based on personality, not looks. Our volunteer in California takes the time to get to know the dogs in the shelter before selecting them for rescue. Chances are if you see a dog on Facebook that is getting LOTS of shares, it has already been adopted or rescued. 

Why isn't there any available dogs on your site?

That simply means we don't have any pups available for adoption. They are either on medical/behaviorial hold, on trial visit or lined up for a trial visit. Dogs will be pulled from the website if we receive 5 or more applications (when we receive many applications, we have to let all but one family down, so we have to do it this way). Everyone gets a fair chance at applying. Our best advice is to keep your eyes glued to the website. Please remember, our dogs are placed into homes by best fit, not first come first served. 

I saw a dog on your site, but it is no longer there. Does that mean it's adopted?

Yes and no. We pull the adoption profiles for two reasons: 1. They were adopted. 2. Too many applications - If a particular pup gets too many applications, we have to pull their availability from the site because it's REALLY TOUGH having to say no to so many people. We can't clone these dogs, and dogs are placed into homes best fit, not first come first served. We'd love to make everyone happy, but this can't always be the case. 


Our Team