Heeding the Heart’s Calling

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.”

The Power of Second Chances

Actress Kate Drummond is a big believer in second chances. At age 35, she realized that though she loved her job as an elementary school teacher and had, by all accounts, a wonderful life, it didn’t light her up. When one of her grade three students asked her, during a lesson on Martin Luther King, what her dream was, she paused then answered truthfully: to act. The little girl replied, “why aren’t you doing it then?”

This simple question sparked an epiphany that led Kate to quit her job and give up everything she had built in order to follow her true passion. She moved from Ottawa to a basement suite in Ajax, Ontario, a town just outside of Toronto—the most she could afford. She pounded the pavement, went to auditions, and persevered despite an agent telling her she was too old to harbour dreams of becoming a movie star. Ouch, right? 

But Kate was to prove that agent and her worried family wrong. Building a career step by step, Kate became an in-demand actress. She currently stars in the new Hulu original series Utopia Falls, as well as appearing in the new reboot of the beloved 90’s children’s television series Ghostwriter streaming now on AppleTV+. 

All of this is to say that Kate knows a thing or two about rebirths, so it’s fitting she’s a big proponent of animal rescue. Kate not only has an adorable rescue dog, Zelda, but she is a huge supporter of several animal causes, including The Snoopi Project, Playa Animal Rescue, Dogs in Better Spots or DIBS (the organization from which she adopted Zelda), and Bytowne Association for Rescued Kanines (BARK). 

“Everyone deserves a second chance. Even a third or fourth chance,” says Kate. “Dogs who are needing to be adopted or rescued are not broken dogs. It just means that somewhere along the line, a human gave up on them, or they were born on the streets and didn't have a gentle human hand to nurture them.”

Given the chance, dogs—like people—can always start over and live the life they were meant for. “All dogs need a place to love, learn, and be loved,” says Kate. “There is nothing in the world that compares to the love and trust of a dog you've rescued.”

Kate’s Top 3 Ways Dog Lovers Can Support Their Local Shelters and Rescue Groups 

Call them and ask them what supplies they need! “I collect gently used collars and leashes and share them with DIBS and the Playa Animal Rescue in Mexico where Zelda came from. We also send supplies through DIBS to The Snoopi Project in Mexico too! Local shelters often collect things like towels and blankets as well.” 

Word of mouth! “Spread the good news about an organization where you got your pup! There are so many and it's so important that rescues of all sizes are getting the publicity because there are a lot of people looking to adopt these days.”

Fundraising. “I'm a big fan of fundraising for rescue organizations and other community-minded organizations in my community. I love "in lieu of gifts" parties and having donations be given to local shelters, especially those that are volunteer-run and not-for-profit.”

Kate’s Favourite Organizations Helping Dogs 

DIBS (Dogs in Better Spots) “This volunteer-run rescue brings dogs from Mexico to Canada. They are transparent and everything they do is for the well-being of their dogs. They are partnered with Playa Animal Rescue in Mexico so the lines of communication are always open and anyone looking to adopt will get the truth about their dog.”

BARK (Bytowne Association for Rescued Kanines) “Another volunteer-run rescue, BARK helps foster and rescue dogs from the Eastern Ontario area. I got my first dog from BARK and have witnessed the incredible things they have been doing for our four-legged friends for over 15 years.” 

The Snoopi Project “Based in Mexico, the Snoopi Project helps to rescue dogs that are neglected in the Mayan area, but also delivers supplies to families who love their dogs, but who perhaps don't have the means to give them proper shelter etc. The Snoopi Project employs a local carpenter to build dog houses and they deliver them to families.” 

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