Some of the most commonly asked questions are answered here...
Who is Newf Friends?
Newf Friends, a division of HART, is a group of Newfoundland Dog enthusiasts who volunteer their time to help Newfoundland Dogs in need in Ontario.
We run our Newf Rescue without a physical rescue location and all animals who come into our care are placed into foster homes where they can get the health care, training, love and attention they need to help them become available for adoption.
We strive to prevent surrendering of dogs by working with families to problem solve and resolve issues that they are facing that may force them to surrender their dog. In situations where it is necessary for the dog to find a new home we have formed a partnership with HART (Highland Animal Relief Team) to meet the needs of these dogs through the development of the Newf Friends Fund.
HART is a registered charity and has been operating in Bancroft, Ontario since the mid-1990s. The Newf Friends Fund is earmarked specifically for the care of Newfs who come into our program.
I think I need to find a new home for my Newf. What do I do?
If you are not sure about giving up your Newf, talk to one of our volunteers. We may be able to give you suggestions or advice that make it possible to keep your Newf. You can reach us by email at email@example.com
If you decide to give up your Newf we will do our best to find it an excellent forever home - our applicants are screened thoroughly and we currently have several applications on file of families waiting for the right Newf to come along. You can reach us by email if you have questions or download & complete the Relinquish Form from the Forms section and to begin the process.
What is your adoption process?
At Newf Friends, the dogs in our care are our top priority. Everything we do is in their best interest to ensure their safety, their health and their happiness. We work very hard to have a clear understanding of the unique needs of each dog in our program and to match them to a carefully screened family that is the right fit for them -- we want our adoptions to be a success for both the dog and their new family. We have very stringent screening protocols and strict policies in place to ensure that the needs of every dog in our program are met. We have successfully placed hundreds of Newfs with wonderful, loving families. Thanks to our very careful placement strategies we have a placement success rate of 98%.
The goal of our foster/adopt program is to match dogs up to their best-fit family, to ensure that they lead a long, happy life in their perfect forever home. Rescued dogs have typically already been bounced around prior to making their way into our care, and our priority is to find them a family who will love them for the rest of their lives. To achieve this, we screen our adopters thoroughly and assess a variety of variables before making a decision about whether a particular dog is a right fit for that family.
Our adoption process begins with the submission of an adoption application found in our forms section. This is the first contact potential adopters have with us and gives us a basic overview of the type of home that would be provided. Please be patient, we have a lot of emails each day and it may take a while for us to get back to you!
Families are placed on our waiting list after receipt of their application -- we operate on a "best match" philosophy, so applications are not prioritized by the date they arrived. When a potential match comes along, we will contact you for a phone interview.
Once applications are received, suitable applicants for a particular dog will be interviewed by telephone to determine if they are the best match for the dog. If it appears that the family is a good match references are checked before a home visit volunteer is sent to meet the family, their current pets and assess the suitability of the home for the dog they are interested in. We have rescue contacts across the nation and are able to coordinate home visits wherever needed.
Can I come visit the available dogs to see if I like any of them?
Because we are a foster home based rescue, rather than shelter based, foster dogs are in the private homes of volunteers, therefore, potential adopters who have not been screened and approved are not able to meet with the dogs until their application has been processed.
How long is your waiting list?
We adopt on a "best match" philosophy, rather than a first come-first served basis, so we have no way of saying how long a particular family will be on our waiting list. It is a matter of the right dog coming along....sometimes this happens almost immediately, sometimes it can take several months.
How long does the screening process take?
Once we have found a potential match for your family, the actual process of interview, references and home visit is usually completed within a week, depending on how quickly we can find a home visit volunteer for your area.
What does your foster program do?
Our available dogs are placed into foster homes with volunteers who assess their training, behavioural, social and health needs. This gives us the ability to best determine what type of adoptive home will work best for the dog, to ensure a successful adoption.
All dogs in foster care through Newf Friends are put on a diet of Acana Pacifica or Orijen 6 Fish -- a Canadian made, grain free, fish based diet that best meets the unique nutritional needs of Newfoundland Dogs. Adoptive families are asked to continue on with this feeding regimen.
All dogs adopted out by Newf Friends are up to date on vaccines, and spayed/neutered prior to adoption, unless health/age require that they not be. Pups adopted out prior to being altered will be adopted on a strictly enforced non-breeding contract, and proof of spay/neuter must be provided by the adopter by the time specified.
What support is available to me after I adopt a dog?
We are available for the lifetime of your adopted family member to answer questions, give advice about health, training, social and behavioural needs. We have volunteers across the province who are here to help in any way we can. Adopting a Newf through Newf Friends makes you part of our extended "family" and we like to stay in touch with adopters and encourage regular contact. We do love updates and pictures!
Adopters are invited to events that we host, are included on our email list, and will be included on HART's mailing list, getting newsletters, and invites to a variety of events throughout the year.
Thanks to our careful screening protocol, we have a placement success rate of 98% In the very unlikely event that a placement doesn't work out, for any reason, we will always bring the Newf back into our program.
I live a long distance away, can I adopt a dog from you?
We receive a large volume of applications from across Canada and the US, priority is given to those applicants who live within a days drive of the dog's foster location. Our preference is to place dogs within 5 hours of their foster home (and no more than 10 hours ideally). This typically includes most areas of southern Ontario, some of the neighbouring States like NJ, NY, PA, MI, ME, OH, CT, etc, and parts of Quebec. * (We have foster homes throughout Ontario and include the location of the dog's foster home in their bio.)
We do not ship dogs, and will not move dogs by plane.
This policy is in place for the sake of the dogs in our care who are better off being placed locally rather than transported across the country. Long drives to their new homes are stressful and we opt to minimize stress as much as possible. Also, if there are issues with the dog adjusting to their new home, it is more difficult for us to help when we are a great distance away. We prefer to place dogs within a reasonable distance where we can be of assistance as needed after placement.
We ask that you not email us asking us to make exceptions to our policies. We are aware that there are limited rescue dogs available on the west and east coasts and that there are many wonderful families looking for dogs, but this does not change our position. It is not in the best interest of our dogs to transport them long distances.
There are Newf Rescue groups across North America, and we recommend that potential adopters apply to the groups in their area. Links to these rescues can be found here:
Your site says you require that adopters have a fenced yard -- I don't have a fenced yard, can I adopt from you?
We require that all potential homes have a securely fenced yard directly off your home to ensure the safety of the dogs we adopt out. Ideally, the fencing will be 6 ft in height, although we will place dogs into homes with 5 ft fences. A securely fenced yard enables you to let your pet out for potty breaks, or off-leash playtime in a safe area. (Playing in a fenced yard is not a substitute for exercise, it is in addition to regular, directed exercise.) Kennel runs do not qualify as a fenced yard as they are not large enough for a dog to romp and play in.
NOTE: We do not consider electric fencing to be secure fencing.
What if I live on a large parcel of land? Will I still need a fence?
Yes, a fence is still required. While we do not require that your entire property be fenced, we do require that there be a securely fenced area directly off your home for your Newf to use for potty breaks, playtime, lounging, etc.
In the past, we have made exceptions to this policy in certain circumstances, and regrettably, that was the wrong decision. As of Dec 2015, we will no longer make exceptions to our fencing policy. Please do not email us asking us to change our policy -- it is in place for the safety of the dogs in our program and is not negotiable. We are aware that there are some families who opt to raise dogs in homes with no fences, however, we are not willing to take the risk with the dogs in our program.
Fencing around Pools
Special precautions will be taken when placing dogs into homes with pools to ensure that the yard is safe for the dog.
If your backyard contains an in-ground pool that is not in a separate fenced area and can be accessed by the dog in the winter, we require a hard winter pool cover that is designed to support the weight of large dogs. Yards with pools covered by tarp style covers that are not safe should a dog accidentally walk on the pool will not be considered.
Your site says you don't typically place dogs in homes with young children -- why not?
We do not adopt Newfoundland Dogs to families with children under the age of 8. The reasons for this policy are many and have been very carefully thought out.
Although Newfs are typically gentle dogs and excellent with children, we don't always know how some of our Newfoundland Dogs get along with children so we err on the side of caution. This is for the safety of your family. Many of the Newfs who come into our care are in need of training and may have some unwanted behaviours that need to be addressed and are not suited to living with children.
From time to time we do have an adult Newfoundland Dog we know would be suited to living with children -- there is a waiting list for these dogs so please be patient. Preference will be given to homes with prior giant breed experience.
If we happen to have a litter of pups available, preference will still be given to homes with children over 8 years due to the tremendous amount of time and work required to properly train and socialize a puppy, and the need for all members of the family to be mature enough to participate in the training of the pup. However, an exception may be made for families who have extensive giant breed experience and children who are particularly dog-savvy and over the age of 6.
Please do not email us asking us to change our policy -- it is in place for the safety of both your family and the dogs in our program.
How do you determine your adoption fees?
Our standard adoption fee for an adult Newf is $500.
Dogs who are seniors, or who have known health issues that will require ongoing medical care will be adopted out with a reduced adoption fee or the adoption fee will be waived entirely depending on the needs of the dog.
Occasionally a pup will come into our program. Our adoption fee for a young puppy is $800 (we offer a partial rebate upon proof of spay/neuter at the appropriate age).
On occasion dogs of other breeds come through our program, and the adoption fee is determined on a case by case basis.
Is the adoption fee negotiable? Can I use a payment plan to pay the fee?
No, our adoption fees are not negotiable and are required in full at time of adoption.
The day to day cost of caring for a Newf is quite high, and families who are unable to afford a nominal adoption fee, likely will not be able to afford the day-to-day expenses of owning and properly caring for a giant breed dog.
I want a dog to use for breeding, can I get one from you?
No. Newf Friend's objectives are to provide education, training opportunities, and resources to encourage responsible pet ownership, eliminate backyard breeders and puppy mills and to help Newfoundland Dogs in need. The vast majority of dogs that enter rescue come from backyard breeders. Providing breeding stock to adopters is not in keeping with our objectives and would be counterproductive. All of the dogs that come to our rescue are spayed/neutered prior to being adopted to prevent breeding.
In the unlikely event that a breeding quality dog from a reputable kennel arrives in our care, we would be able to trace the dog back to its kennel via a microchip and that dog would be returned to the breeder. Reputable breeders take responsibility for their dogs. and their dogs' offspring for the life of those animals, and these dogs do not end up in rescue. No reputable or good breeder would ever consider getting a dog from rescue as breeding stock, nor would any reputable rescue group adopt a dog out to be bred.
If you want to breed Newfs, read our note on becoming a reputable breeder.
I am going through some changes in my life and need someone to take my dog for a few months. Can you foster my dog for me?
Unfortunately, we are not able to board dogs in these situations. Our foster homes are needed for dogs who are in our program, waiting for their forever homes.