Coach’s Closet Event

Coach’s Closet Event

News & Events

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Coach’s Closet Event

Don’s tailor and good friend of this Foundation, John Corallo team together to raise funds for our distribution across Canada to deserving rescues. Check out the article at:

To learn more about this fundraising event, click on the link below:

Puppy Mill Letter

Puppy Mill Letter

News & Events

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Puppy Mill Letter

When a friend contacted the Foundation and said we had to try and stop another Puppy Mill from opening up in the Township of Minto, we got on it right away. I, Cindy Cherry customized it into my words then emailed it to all the people listed below. 

I have also included in a PDF form a version that perhaps you could use to send to all the people listed below. 

The more emails they receive, the sooner they will realize, the world does not need another puppy mill and they should learn what the acronym NIMBY means.

Dear ___________:

I am writing to express my concern over the applications for kennel licences made by Allan Horst and Laura and Julianne Martin. I am very opposed to the granting of these licenses. Thirteen puppy mills in one township is too many, let alone adding to that number. What could possibly motivate one’s self with having so many “licensed” kennels in one district other than the profitability of producing mass amounts of pups for sale?

Any moral person, animal lover or not, would have to be appalled and deeply offended at the conditions under which puppy mill dogs that are bred for profit are kept. It is well known that these dogs often suffer a miserable existence with little or no care, are overbred, deprived of veterinary care and live in confinement with little or no proper socialization. Is this acceptable to anyone but those people that breed dogs for profit? If you are a caring person with some compassion you will deny an application of having yet another “kennel” AKA a puppy mill in your backyard.

It has been brought to my attention and is widely known that hundreds upon hundreds of the puppies being sold out of Minto Township are sick with Coccidia, Giardia, Parvovirus and Brucellosis, in spite of your efforts to manage such kennels as stated in your Kennel Bylaws. Your Bylaws address inspections on such kennels, however it is well known that notice is given to such visits. It is absurd to give weeks or even a day’s notice of an inspection. How completely ludicrous. How foolish does one have to be to think that these operations are not cleaned up in the weeks or days leading up to the inspection. Your Bylaws require that dogs are kept in sanitary conditions and are provided a “sufficient designated space for the proper enrichment and socialization of puppies”. When you have 100’s and 100’s of dogs, do you really think this is possible? That is why surprise/random inspection is so important. Does the Township want accurate information from the inspections or are you just going through the motion?

With the proper documentation that you demand in your Bylaws, such as confirmation of the number of dogs and gender of each dog in these kennels be recorded, and that all dogs are immunized properly, plus all sales with the names and addresses of people who buy puppy mill dogs, this would indicate clearly a major source of income for such operators. All this documentation would be valuable to Revenue Canada, and hopefully you are sharing such information, even though I am sure a lot of these transactions are made in cash.

Your claim is that the kennels in the Town of Minto are required to abide by the guidelines as set up by the “Code of Practice for Canadian Kennel Operations”, from the Canadian Veterinary Medical Assc. However, your reputation proceeds itself in being a haven for Puppy Mills. Is this something you want to be in favor of?

The internet and social media have provided a platform for decent people who want to see a change in demanding tougher laws and their enforcement in dealing with this ongoing concern of puppy mills.  In saying that, Minto Township Council should be cautious in granting licenses to a business that does not have favour of the electorate.

I am asking you to please, start curbing the insatiable need for some people to profit out of the misery of dogs. We, the people that try to be the voice of these poor animals are doing our best to get people to “adopt, not shop”. Could you do your part?



REMEMBER FOLKS: This is very important… only need to compose ONE letter…. HOWEVER, you need to send it to the Mayor, each councillor and each By-Law Officer and the media, separately.   Why?  We have learned throughout the years that if you send one letter and cc everyone else, no one is obligated to respond.   However,  if you send your letter to the Mayor, councillors and by-law officers separately,  they are obligated to respond.   What you can do is “ CC”ONLY the media with each separate email.

Deputy Mayor:  Dave Turton

Councillor: Jean Anderson

Councillor:  Judy Dirksen

Councillor:  Ron Elliott

Councillor:  Geoff Gunson

Councillor:  Mark MacKenzie

Councillor:  David Anderson

By-Law Officer:  Cam Forbes

By-Law Officer:  Terry Kuipers

Then “CC’ it to the media in that town.

To read more about how this Foundation feels about Puppy Mills, click here:

Postscript: August 27, 2020:

In trying to do the right thing in making it easier for dog lovers to assist in the fight against puppy mills, this organization has been accused of not giving credit where credit is due. Therefore, if there were any assumptions made that DCPRF or took credit or even plagiarized (as we were accused of) in regards to the above campaign against Minto Township approving more kennel licenses, it was not our intention. This campaign was initiated by Kimberly Thomas who owns Kismutt Dog Rescue & Boarding.

Covid-19 & Ferns

Covid-19 & Ferns

Cindy’s Blog

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Covid-19 & Ferns

May 10,2020- Spring Ferns growing through asphalt

Seen here are Ferns growing out of asphalt by my brother’s neighbor’s driveway.  What significance is this to me?  Lets talk metaphors.  Here is a fern.  A plant we could snap in half with our fingers. Yet it is strong enough to work its way  through an asphalt driveway.  Does this not represent the force of Mother Nature?  We see Her obvious  strength  everyday on the news.   Tsunamis, avalanches, earthquakes, tornadoes, fires, mass flooding, all showing the strength of Mother Nature’s wrath.  However these ferns growing are not in wrath, just silence in their growth.  We humans are not going to beat this kind of survival instinct, no matter how much we wear masks, wash our hands, & isolate ourselves from the world. The solution has to do with a bigger picture. Sure we can pave over the fern’s roots and cut down it’s fiddle heads, but it will return next year, probably stronger and with more determination to break through.   


I am sure that my brother’s neighbors will just see these ferns as nothing more but unsightly and will eventually get their noisy weed wacker out and have them gone in a second.  They will do this without hesitation and not even a thought on what it took for this plant to force itself through 2 inches of asphalt  to survive and flourish.  To me this is a symbolic gesture of ignorance on what we do to animals in the quest of having them serve us in so many ways. Top of that list is  factory farming and wet markets. Take note, past pandemics including SARS, H1N1, MERS, or Ebola, have all been tied to animal consumption.  Well folks the dirty secrets of factory farming and wet markets has finally raised its ugly head and is hitting home.   What did we expect? Forget the morality of it, lets talk about the filth and the perfect storm for Mother Nature to brood a virus that will teach us all a lesson. 


I guess Mother Nature figured, well if we can’t beat them by killing them lets have this virus also ruin their economy and watch them implode on themselves. Ok, maybe Mother Nature didn’t figure it that way, but it’s all an evolution, which to some degree is nature taking its course.   The dynamics of the stats that media keeps broadcasting is just the tip of the iceberg in reality to the tragedy that is really taking place.  The ruin lives via homes lost, businesses and personal bankruptcy, suicides due to isolation, ect.,only proves my point that Mother Nature will win in the end.  Just think of all this social distancing, hand washing, and masks as the asphalt trying to keep these ferns under check.  Not going to happen.

May 18th  – coming on strong

May 26th – Flourishing, but as predicted in the article, the neighbors saw this as unsightly and weed-whacked it. How apropos.

June 4th– Lets try again, more determined & stronger, hmmm…something like a flu that’s going around.

Double Blue Merle

Double Blue Merle

Cindy’s Blog

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Double Blue Merle

Don’t know if they are called Blue Merle Budgies, but I had one.

Like the world needs more unique dogs for unique people

To the novice “dog lover”, what a cute puppy. To a dog rescuer: How many things can you see wrong in this picture?

Each Canadian Pet Expo I attend, I learn something new. My latest wonder is learning what a Double Blue Merle is and what makes it unique and need rescuing?  The person enlightening me on this new trend was telling me this because, of course, she is starting a rescue organization strictly to rescue these dogs in Canada.   As usual when something gets popular, it then gets more desirable, which then leads to the “Carnies” (as I call them), which are people looking at this as an opportunity to make money on gullible people that want to be “unique” and are up on the latest fad.  This special colored coat is appearing in more breeds every day, such as Corgis, Chihuahuas, Cockers, Collies, Dachshunds, Great Danes, OESD’s, and even Pomeranians. So lets put these uniquely colored dogs in the category of “Designer Dogs”. Which if you are a “real” dog person, is not good.


Now most of us know what a Blue Merle is, which is a Merle gene inherited that creates mottled patches of color in a solid or piebald coat, and has blue or odd-colored eyes.


But what is a “Double Merle”?

It’s created when two merle dogs are bred together. It doesn’t matter what color merle or what breed they are. If two merle dogs are bred together, each puppy in the litter has a 25% chance of being born a double merle. A double merle inherits the merle gene twice.  One copy of the merle gene causes a marbling effect on the coat and creates lighter spots throughout the solid color coat. In a double merle, the marbling/lightening effect is doubled and the coat becomes predominantly white. Double merles also have a very high chance of being deaf, blind, or both because they lack pigment where it would normally be.


So what does this mean for the Double Merles?

The pups that do not inherit the gene twice are “normal” dogs or “Phantom Merles. Their coats are normally marked or should I say, “desirably” marked and they are not plagued with hearing or vision problems. These are the pups that a breeder wants, because they can profit from their pups. The double merles are often killed at birth just for being white, when it is still too early to tell if the dog will have any hearing or vision problems. They just assume it, and kill them because they know that no one is going to pay big bucks for a “defective” dog, and it also reflects poorly on their breeding program. If they aren’t killed, they are often sold as rare whites to unknowing people. Which I am sure they tout as being even more desirable, because they are so rare and unique. These pups generally end up in a shelter or used as bait dogs (google that) in dog fighting rings when the buyer finds out they can’t see, hear or both. Once in a shelter, they still face death because no one wants a “defective” dog.


Currently in the UK, merle-to-merle breeding is banned by their kennel club. This means that any puppies, merle, solid, or double merle, born from two merle parents cannot be registered. If the breeder cannot register its puppies, it is thought to discourage the actions because purebred “papered” puppies always sell for more. As far as Canada is concerned when I googled to get some info on the Canadian Kennel Club stand on such sad breeding practices, I found nothing.  There was a petition started 3 years ago for them to address it, but it looks like it fell on deaf ears.  I’d love to be proven wrong, but I doubt I will.


Why do I sound so cynical? Because I deal with the challenges that Rescue people have to face.  They get so frustrated with well meaning “dog lovers”.  If you’d tried to explain this trend to a Blue Merle owner, no matter how carefully you worded it, they would take it as a slight.  They would think you don’t like their dog.  I have had this experienced while talking  to Spoodle owners, and all that come out of it, is I don’t like their dog.  You really can’t win.


For more on my thoughts on people needing to be unique via their dog, click here:


Make no mistake about it, before I knew about the cost to dogs’ lives to get this unique color, I loved anything Blue Merle.  I even had a budgy bird that color many years ago, that’s how much I loved the color.  But it’s all about educating oneself about what you like and how things suffer to appeal to you.


For more info on what it costs dogs to be Blue Merle click here:

Northern Adventure

Northern Adventure

Cindy’s Blog

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Northern Adventure

All the gang, including Aarne, Lori’s husband who was always there to pick up the slack and so much more. A die hard Leaf fan to boot. 

Lori our quarterback who had it all figured out at Terry Fox Memorial outside of Thunder Bay.

At Lori’s house, organizing and trying to remember everything we will need.

Ready for intake.

It all started with meeting Nikki Burns, past President of Northern Spay & Neuter Program, at the OSPCA’s Educational Conference in Niagara Falls a couple of years ago. They were kicking off their program “Year of the Northern Dog”, which addresses the over population of dogs in Northern Ontario. She proceeded to try an educate a city slicker like myself, to the plight of not only the dogs, but the people that live in a First Nation Community and their struggles with this issue. Of course I could not relate to any of this. So her, and close friend Judy Decicco (a long serving OSPCA Board member) and Lori Clace (President of Northern Spay and Neuter Program) convinced me the only way I was going to change my attitude and expand my horizons from my narrow way of thinking about this on-going problem, is to experience for myself a mobile spay and neuter clinic in a First Nation Community. OK, I told them and with much planning off to Lake Helen First Nation’s Reserve I went. Thank goodness they all lived in Thunder Bay and could hand hold me through the process. I loved telling my friends that this was what I would like to do with my spare time. No sandy beaches for me. No going to some far off country to experience their culture. Nope, I am just fine with mine, and if I was going to spend money and go away, this is what I wanted to do. I was going to prove I could walk the walk and be a part of trying to make the world a bit easier for both people and their pets. As the time came nearer, I kept saying to myself, what have I gotten myself into.


I had no idea what to expect. I met everyone at our leader’s house, which was Lori. There were the veterinarians, the animal care techs, and the grunts like me. Everyone was a busy beaver getting supplies all ready. I felt like a fish out of water. Then we went to a huge storage unit, to pile in more supplies in a trailer. It was there that I realized that the hierarchy that I expected did not exist. I thought there would be more of a “pecking order” of who did what. At this stage it was just muscle work and you couldn’t tell who were vets, techs, or people like me. Another myth shattered.


We then drove to Nipigon, and checked into an apropos named hotel called The Beaver. We set up all the supplies in a community hall. I still did not know where I would fit in. But my Dad always told me it’s an art to looking busy doing nothing. So I did my best. I was told I would assist in check in. This process was ground zero in getting the animals through with all the correct paperwork and to keep track of them. Each animal was to get a kit that was numbered. In this kit, was a minimal 6 different info sheets that had to be filled out individually. Then an I.D. chip to be inserted, with its separate paperwork. A vaccination tag, an I.D. collar that you had better put its I.D number on when putting it on the dog/cat and a clip with that number to put on its cage. Then you had to weigh it (and take a picture), and put that info down also. After putting it in a kennel, you had better remember to put this info on the “board” which holds all the vital stats of each pet. One slip up of forgetting one thing and the whole system is thrown off. Such pressure!


I really tried not to look like a rookie, but my fear of doing something wrong was a dead giveaway of my angst. The check-ins came in waves. So when I had a breather, I’d learn to work the autoclave, or how to set up the vaccines, plus learn what to look for as the patients came out of their anesthesia. My favorite thing to do however was groom them when they were still under. It’s sort of cheating, but it does make life easier. Cleaning ears, cutting nails, and my speciality removing all the matted hair. I find the poor little lapdogs have it the hardest. It’s a challenge for any owners to keep longhaired Shitzu type dogs from matting up, let alone people that don’t have the correct equipment to do it, or access to a professional groomer. So I really got satisfaction in clipping around their face and clipping away all the matted hair around their feet.


The days were very long, but seemed to go by fast. Our faithful leader Lori thought of everything. Since there was no restaurant or delivery, (remember folks we were at Lake Helen Reserve), she had to bring food. It was so nice to see that she knew that the vegetarians would outnumber the “flesh eaters”. Yippee, I didn’t have to eat by default. Two types of Shepard’s pie, lasagna, sandwiches, she had it all figured out. The sign of a great leader and the patience of Job. (I never knew who Job was, but my mother used that expression a lot referring to me and my Dad, I know it has to do with the Bible).

Once all the dogs and cats got picked up, then the real worked started in packing up. We started about 8 am, finished loading the trailer about 10pm. We were famished. So thank goodness we found a truck stop that closed at 11 pm and ordered the last supper. I felt so sorry for the waitress. Needless to say we tipped her big.


It was a real bonding experience with these ladies. We were all in it together. We had the same goals and no matter who you were, you got the job done. However, to see those vets work under conditions that were unique to them and rise to the occasion was a marvel to see. It reminded me of the TV show M.A.S. H. (mobile army surgical hospital).


On the way home we stopped at the Terry Fox Memorial. I didn’t know this was the place where he was forced to stop his famous journey. It is places such as this, that I am glad I spend my money in Canada to vacation or to utilize my spare time. Canada has so much to offer in its beauty, culture, and our old time traditions. That is why I am so happy that I chose to step out of my secure box that I have created for myself. It was a learning experience and a test to myself to expand my horizons. So I will continue to expand them, meaning they tell me my next trip we are going into a more remote fly in reserve. Somehow all I think of is “what will I wear?”

Cleaning up and heading out. I don’t know which one takes longer.  Setting up for business or the tear down.

So much paperwork.  I am really trying hard to get it all correct.

So many questions to ask.  Like who owns the dog.  Do you put under the person that owns it, or the person that brings it in.  All these types of situations you have to know.  Poor Lori, she must have gotten sick of her name from all the questions I asked.

These are the kits.  I must say, when I wanted to relax my brain, I made up the kits.  That was my rest.

The Bible for reference.  Forget to put the client on this, and it’s forgotten.  Yikes.

Does it get any more efficient than this?  This pose just struck me funny.

When I really wanted to relax, I loved watching the operations. It was fascinating.

The vets were never nervous, or so it seemed, with me watching them do their thing.

This is what I enjoyed doing the most.  Grooming them when they were still under anesthetic. In my eyes, it’s sort of cheating.

Lori, cracking the whip.  I can’t remember laughing so much with one person.  So glad we sat at the same table during the OSPCA function in Niagara Falls in 2017 to bond.

This is the owner of the dog, who assisted me when “Sweet”, was coming out of anesthetic.

I was even more of a hit, when she found out my Dad was Don Cherry.

Me doing my thing, with Lori’s assistance. She is the Jack of all Trades.  She just fills in when needed, plus runs the show.

Lori, wondering if I really know what I am doing.  Yes, Lori, I am a groomer by trade.

Monitoring the dogs when they are coming out of their deep sleep.  Some come out smoothly, some not so much. 

Don’t the dogs look comfy?  Me? Not so much.

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