Heeding the Heart’s Calling
One man’s passion for saving animals led him to start his own rescue: “What more can I be doing to make a difference?”
When a follower alerted Jesse Adams, founder of RainCoast Dog Rescue, to Golden Retriever Zoe’s plight, he knew he had to do something—even though Zoe was in Lebanon and Adams is based in Canada. “I have never been one to back down from a challenge, especially to help save an animal’s life,” says Adams. He was determined to intervene on behalf of the chained, emaciated Golden who endured forced breeding and abuse. After searching for a team willing to travel and help save Zoe and not getting any support, Adams flew to the Middle East himself to rescue her, bringing her back to British Columbia for medical care before finding her a loving forever home.
At RainCoast Dog Rescue Society, their mission is to “rescue, and rehabilitate unwanted, neglected, abused, and misplaced dogs from shelters and communities at home in Canada and around the world.” The small volunteer-run, non-profit rescue organization based out of Sooke, BC, has had global impact.
“I started RainCoast Dog Rescue seven years ago, and my inspiration for starting the organization was wanting to follow my natural-drawn passion for helping animals, especially dogs,” says 36-year-old Adams.
From left to right: Chase, Lucas, and Rosie
It’s a family passion. His late mother worked to protect wildlife for 36 years, and they always had animals around when he was growing up. Adams, previously on the board of directors for another dog rescue, knew he wanted to use his animal rescue knowledge and experience to continue to find a way to help animals in need.
Through RainCoast, Adams and his team help organize clinics to provide spaying, neutering, vaccinations, and other veterinary services, as well as support for pet owners who are low income, living on the streets, or living in rural communities. The rescue also works to raise awareness about spaying and neutering, responsible ownership, breed-neutral bylaws, and ethical training.
“To date I would roughly say we have helped rescue, rehabilitate, and adopt out over 2,000 animals in the last seven years, most being dogs, some being cats, and the odd farm animal here or there along the way,” says Adams.
“Our team is completely volunteer-based and no one gets a salary or wage. We currently have eight main members that help run the organization but have such a wide variety of amazing people who help make RainCoast who we are. It truly takes a village.”
RainCoast Rescue founder Jesse Adams and Zoe
Such was the case with Rosie, a four-month-old stray RainCoast rescued from a rural community in Northern Saskatchewan.
It took a team of rescuers, veterinarians, and the right foster home to save the Shepherd and Husky mix. She was in such rough shape when they found her, the team was worried about her even surviving the trip to the closest emergency vet.
“Rosie’s body smelled like rotting flesh and infections. She could barely move or keep her head up,” says Adams. “After making it to the emergency vet, she spent three days there while under 24-hour emergency care and then was sent home with the prognosis she still may not make it.”
The complicated process of Rosie’s rehabilitation and recovery from severe mange and secondary infections took a full year of vet visits, antibiotic rounds, and emotional healing, but the gargantuan effort paid off. In June 2021, she found her forever home.
Luna & Pumpkin
“It was an astonishing logistical undertaking with so many moving pieces and dedicated volunteers for just one sick dog, but you won’t find anyone who’ll say it wasn’t worth it,” says RainCoast volunteer Owen Laukkanen.
“How that sweet girl survived we all still don’t know, but she did, and she’s forever inspired us with her perseverance, determination, and drive to never give up no matter how bad it may get,” says Adams. “Helping one dog may not change the world, but for that one dog, the world will change forever.”