Frequently Asked Questions


Where are you located?

We are foster-home based in and around the GTA, in Ontario, Canada.  We do not have a shelter and our rescues have the opportunity to thrive in foster homes, under the care of our volunteer families.
We adopt within the province of Ontario, and adopters are required to drive to foster homes, for meet and greets and/or adoption day.

I love dogs, but i love Pokemon Go do i manage both?

Great question and we are so glad that you asked! As you know, the best place to hunt Pokemons is in parks, or while out on a walk. And, you know who else likes parks and walks? DOGS DO!!! Grab your phone, open your app, get your dog on a leash and go!

Where do your dogs come from?

DIBS dogs primarily come from amazing rescue organizations in Mexico.  While many Mexican based rescue organizations perform spay/neuter clinics, free vetting for family pets in need, and manage many donations – many dogs still find their way into shelters.

Why are some of your dogs originally from Mexico? Aren't there enough dogs in Canada that need help?

First of all – Canadians are amazing! There are many incredible rescue organization that focus on Canadian animals and we are so thankful.  DIBS does donate and support where we can.  The sad reality is that there are dogs all over – not only North America – but throughout the world, who are homeless and in need of new forever families. There are many organizations in existence that focus on dogs from northern Canada, U.S and rescues worldwide. Our focus has been on dogs that need help from Mexican shelters. Without organizations helping these dogs get adopted, they can spend their entire lives in shelters, never having a home of their own. Many of these dogs are wonderful, sweet dogs yet would not have a chance at adoption unless they were brought to Canada. A dedicated network of volunteers from Mexico and Canada work together to save these dogs – one Mexi-Mutt at a time.

How do I get rid of my dog?

DIBS does rescue owner-surrendered dogs when we are able, though we typically concentrate on dogs that are in shelters for long periods of time, and have no other hope of rescue in sight. We promote responsible animal ownership and can suggest training and veterinary resources if you are having behavioral problems with your dog that may be resolved. If these issues cannot be solved and surrender is the only option, please contact us at [email protected] for more information.  We will let  you know if we can/can not take your pup.
Always provide relevant info: Age, weight, breed guess, health, vetting, reason for giving up, and a few photos. Better details will lead to better responses.  Different rescues have different skillsets, and at times we may be able to suggest a rescue that may be better suited.

If you are looking to rehome your dog, please never offer it as “Free to a Good Home” as this is the most common way for animal abusers, dog flippers (those who take free dogs by pretending to be a good home, and then sell them) and others with very bad intentions to obtain free animals. Your dog/puppy (or cat/kitten) could end up as bait for illegal dog fighting rings, in a puppy mill or with a backyard breeder (if you haven’t had him/her spayed/neutered), in a medical lab for vivisection/research, or harmed by terrible individuals. Your animal has his/her best chance with you, a family member or friend. If you must surrender the animal, make sure it is to a no-kill shelter or a reputable rescue group, and be honest about the health and behavioral issues of the dog.

Please note: Whenever we are able to take an owner-surrender into foster care, we strictly adhere to the Canadian Privacy Act, meaning that all previous owner’s information is kept confidential. All medial information is shared with the adopters’ own vet, however, with the original owner’s name redacted.

What is included from a vetting perspective?

All DIBs dogs are vaccinated and spayed/neutered prior to adoption.
Dogs are vaccinated with a full set of shots to meet/surpass Canadian vetting standards. While Canadian import requirements only list rabies, we ensure they are all vaccinated for rabies, distemper, parvo, bordetella, and lepto is typically included (indicated by an L on the vaccination stickers). Each adopted dog has a full vetting booklet provided with the respective stickers from the vaccinations administered. The original booklet goes with the adopters (DIBS keeps a copy in email, just in case!)

As for testing, each dog is tested with a snap test (4dx or 5dx) and if any results are positive, they are fully vetted prior to travel. In some cases xrays and/or dental may be needed, which DIBS funds, as we want our dogs fully vetted. As TVT can be found in dogs previously un-spayed/un-neutered, we also test for TVT by both a physical exam as well a swab/microscope test.
When adopted dogs are taken in for their first vet appointment with the new owners, we are very proud of the reaction of our Canadian vets and the reflection on both DIBS and our front line rescue partners.

Pet Licenses/Microchipping

Both are the responsibility of a pet owner. Licences are mandated by your city.  You will need to register with them. Microchipping – please see your vet.  We urge all adopters to microchip their pets, as it is the only way to identify or locate your pet if they got out.  More info on the process is here:

What is DIBS doing to help alleviate the stray animal overpopulation?

DIBS is working diligently in the community to raise awareness regarding the spaying and neutering of companion animals. Every dog that we take in is spayed or neutered before he/she is placed in a foster home. We also educate the public and our followers about spaying and neutering. To date, we have funded thousands of spay/neuters of cats and dogs in Mexico. If you want to contribute, and sponsor a “fix” please send $26 to us at [email protected] and we will forward it along to our rescue partners.

Your Personal Information

Information that is gathered from visitors In common with other websites, log files are stored on the web server saving details such as the visitor’s IP address, browser type, referring page and time of visit. Cookies may be used to remember visitor preferences when interacting with the website. When completing application form, a backup application is saved on our server. This information will not be used for any purpose other than screening. Information may be  used to enhance the visitor’s experience when using the website to display personalized content and possibly advertising. E-mail addresses will not be sold, rented or leased to 3rd parties. E-mail may be used for screening purposes only. You may be able to block cookies via your browser settings but this may prevent you from access to certain features of the website. Cookies are small digital signature files that are stored by your web browser that allow your preferences to be recorded when visiting the website. Also they may be used to track your return visits to the website. 3rd party advertising companies may also use cookies for tracking purposes.


I would like a (INSERT PREFERRED BREED HERE)... is that a possibility with a rescue dog?

We generally like what we like! Some of us want a dog that will play with my family or a dog that will run with me. There are lots of different characteristics that people look for in a dog. At times, people are looking for a specific breed. While most of our rescues are mixed breeds (the popular choice these days), we do come across pure-breds from time to time. Keep watching our site, look on Petfinder (which covers many different rescue orgs) and specify what you are looking for in your search is.

Do you adopt to families that smoke?

We do adopt to families that smoke – provided inside the home is a smoke-free zone. It is our personal belief that only those that choose to smoke should be subjected to it (including second hand smoke).

What is the adoption process?

Our dogs’ profiles are listed online on our website, on, as well as on our Facebook page.  We are completely foster-based – all of our foster dogs are in private homes with our dedicated volunteers. In order to be considered as an adopter you must:

  • Be an adult, 25 years* or older, in a stable single or family situation;
  • If you rent, have the knowledge and signed consent of your landlord; and
  • Be able to demonstrate that you’re willing to spend the time and money necessary to provide training, annual and emergency medical treatment, and proper care for the lifetime of your dog.

*Please note that we will not process applications for potential adopters until the age of 25. If you are under 25, please have a parent or guardian submit the application with you as a co-applicant. If you do not have a parent or guardian who can co-sign, please send us an e-mail for more information. Each potential adopter must undergo three stages of screening:


Step Duration of Time
Adoption application This will take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete and includes providing a vet reference (if applicable), as well as 3 personal references.
Phone interview The phone interview with one of our screening volunteers will take approximately 30-40 minutes depending on how many questions you have. Depending on your availability, this typically takes place within 2-3 days of receiving your application.
Home visit The home visit, conducted by one of our screening volunteers, will take approximately 20-30 minutes. Depending on your availability* and location**, this typically takes place within a week of the phone screen being completed.

* Please note that all family members and those living in the household must be present at the time of the home visit.
** Please note that there may be certain locations in Ontario where we do not have volunteer coverage. In these situations it could take longer to conduct your home visit.
After all 3 phases are complete, we will review your complete file, along with the dog’s information and adoption requirements, and will make a decision on whether or not to approve the adoption.  This may sound like a long process, however we do want to see our dogs homed as quickly as possible, once we find the right family.  It’s exciting for us to know that an adopted dog is starting their new life as soon as we can arrange! If you are approved for adoption, you will receive a congratulatory e-mail from DIBs connecting you with the dog’s foster home. At this point, you and the foster parent(s) can arrange the “meet & greet” with the foster dog. At that meeting, you can make the decision to formally adopt him/her, if desired*. *Even once approved, you are under no obligation to adopt. DIBs also reserves the right to decline the adoption at the time of the meet-and-greet if we feel that your family is not the right match for the dog

How long does it take to process my application?

We do try to process as soon as possible, as our goal is to get our rescues placed in their forever homes quickly. Some have had a rough start to life, and we are excited to have them adopted and get the love they deserve. As a result, we try to move through the stages quickly. But, we can’t skip any steps – all are required from application, to phone screen and references, to home visit and the final approval/denial. Working together – adopter and foster – expedites the process.

Why so much screening? Reference checks? Home visit?

We want to ensure each adoption is a successful adoption. Please understand that:

  • the adoption process is the same for everyone
  • our goal is to place a dog in the right home at the right time

At DIBS, we focus on the difference between placing a dog in a home, and placing a dog in the RIGHT home.  Many dogs are adopted as puppies and later abandoned – sometimes due to moving, new baby, or the dogs personality may be too much!  All reputable rescues strive to place each dog into its forever home, rather than giving him/her to the first person who expresses interest. Very often, we get several applications for each dog.  We are likely to have a phone screen with applications that we feel are a good fit.  We won’t make a final decision until we meet the dog.  Once they are in foster for a week, we learn a lot about the dog and their preferences.  Do they enjoy another pet in the home?  Do they prefer people over animals?  Are they ok alone in the day, or do they prefer a lot of interaction.  What is their activity level?  Could their physical energy be too much for young children?  Could they be a running partner?  There are many things to consider, and we may review a fantastic applicant, but once we interact with the dog, they may not be the right fit for that particular dog.  If that’s the case, we like to work together, to find the right fit.  Every dog deserves the right home! Why do you ask for our Veterinarian’s details and a reference? We call your past vet for a reference just to find out more about your past/current pets health and history.  We require that our rescues be vetted regularly and kept up to date on vaccinations.  As part of your adoption contract, we do ask that you see a vet within the first few weeks (set up a file, get the dog micro-chipped, general meet & greet) and we want to ensure that you have thought about veterinary care and have made that contact. We also want to ensure that they are in support of heart-worm prevention, as this is such an important part of keeping your new dog healthy. As with most rescues, we require 10 years of vetting references, which may require us to reach back to past vets. Why do you visit my home? The purpose of the home visit is to ensure the dog will be in a safe environment.  We will discuss fencing, household chemicals, and other household items that could be a danger for a dog. It also gives us a chance to meet the entire family (everyone must be present for the home visit) and ensure everyone is on board, and equally enthusiastic and invested in the adoption process. Why do you ask for so much personal information? It would be much easier to go to the store and buy a puppy!   Yes, it is “easier” – but are you getting the right puppy?  Store dogs may be from a reputable breeder or from puppy mills.  You never know the source of a dog purchased through a store, even if you ask, or even the past vetting information.   Also, you won’t know the personality of the dog until you get home.  Sadly, these are the dogs that are often abandoned at shelters, as they were purchased on a whim, or the personality wasn’t what they expected. While we try to keep the process streamlined, “easy” isn’t our goal.  Our goal is to ensure our adoptions are successful for everyone!

Why do you ask for so much personal information? It would be much easier to go to the store and buy a puppy!

Certainly it is easier to walk into a store and buy a puppy, but it is exactly this “instant gratification” mentality that has contributed to the hundreds of thousands of homeless (and subsequently euthanized) pets in Canada today. Adopting a dog is a lifetime commitment and not something to be done on a whim. The nature of rescue is that we have a duty to ensure our dogs are homed with a family best suited for them, with applicants who believe in the ideals of rescue and have the patience to work through the screening process. The application provides the exact details we need to make the right decision for each dog, and each potential forever home. Therefore, all incomplete applications (unless otherwise specified) will not be considered as the information requested is absolutely critical to the adoption process.

Adoption Fees?

How much are adoption fees?
$750 is the adoption fee for dogs over 9 months of age. For under 8 months, the adoption fee is $870. This includes spay/neuter &  vaccinations and all travel costs from Mexico.  From time to time we do receive seniors (7+) and their adoption fee is $500.
How do I pay?  Payment can be made by etransfer to [email protected]
What is included? What does the adoption fee include? Why are your fees more than a dog pound? DIBS Rescue is committed to, and pride ourselves in providing extensive veterinary care above and beyond what many rescues do, and certainly far more than pounds and shelters. The sad reality is that we often get the most unwanted, un-vetted and uncared for dogs. Of course, this is a conscious effort on our part as we see potential in all dogs, regardless of age, breed, gender or size. Many adult dogs come to us in need of extensive medical and/or dental care. Veterinary costs for the special cases can run into thousands of dollars. Younger, healthier dogs may not have quite the same needs as the older dogs do but they too must be examined, vaccinated, dewormed, temperament checked and spayed/neutered prior to adoption. While our supporters and partner veterinarians are amazingly generous, donations only begin to defray our expenses. We offset the difference through our ongoing fundraising efforts.
Why is there a fee? The reason for the adoption fee is two-fold: First, it helps to defer some of our costs associated with the vetting costs of that particular dog. Second, it is an important financial investment in the dog by you, the adopter. Often we take in dogs that require thousands of dollars in veterinary care, and only receive a small portion of that back at the time of adoption. There is no profit through adoption fees.

Fencing - What kind is ok? Not ok?

DIBS Rescue always prefers our dogs to be placed in a home with a fenced yard. But, there are many dogs who don’t have this need. They are more than happy to go for walks, instead of playing in the yard. Not having a yard may be a factor, but it does depend on the dog. This will be something to explore with the foster, once they know the dog well enough.

Can I visit the dog that I'm interested in? Can my dog come?

We are all for meet and greets – when the time is right!  We do try to protect our fosters time, and if we agreed to meet and greets for every interested family, some foster families would have to commit to 20+ on some weeks. So, we only agree to meet and greets, once serious intent is clear. We do expect to start with the application and screening before committing the time.  Only final candidate(s) will be booked for the meet and greet. For us, it is important to know if the family is a fit for the dog (and for our applicants to know that the dog is a fit for them). 
We do want your dog to come, as compatibility is key.
Most meet and greets require applicants to travel to the foster family’s home. 

What should i consider before adopting a dog?

Adopting a dog should be a well-thought-out decision by all members of the household. Is it the right time? Do you understand the years of emotional and financial commitment? DIBS best suggestion is to really think hard about what qualities in a dog are important to you, which may help you figure out what breed, age, size, activity level and temperament will work for your family. Here are some other things to consider:

  • How will the dog fit into my family/lifestyle? Please take time to thoroughly read the dog’s bio/profile and feel free to e-mail the foster home questions about what to expect.
  • I have children; what should I take into consideration? If you are looking for a dog that will be good with children, it will be noted in the dog’s bio and his/her foster home can provide you with relevant information. Please remember that young children need to be taught how to interact positively with dogs of all types and sizes BEFORE you bring one into your home. We can provide you with some links and tips on this crucial topic.
  • Am I willing to commit to obedience classes with my dog? Please do – we advise even experienced dog parents to take their new dog to class. It helps both of you establish a solid relationship in a positive, public environment.
If I adopt a dog from you, and cannot keep or care for the dog, do you take the dog back?

Yes – it is a legal requirement of our adoption contract. If, after extensive training, education and communication with us, an adopted dog does not work out in your home or you are suddenly unable to care for the dog, he/she must be returned to us. At the time of adoption, you will be asked to sign a clause stating that you will return the dog to us should you be unable to keep or care for the dog.

Donations & Fostering

How can I Help?

Please check out other areas of our website for more info on how you can get more involved! Thank you in advance.