How to save a dog’s life

The rescue group Save a Life Canada brings in puppers from shelters all over the world, to give them a second-chance in Halifax.

Becki Carpenter loves dogs—like, really loves them. One of the directors of the foster-based rescue organization Save A Life Canada, she typically has several puppers running around her home at any one time.

"I got started fostering a senior weiner dog and got more involved from there. It takes over your life but it's super rewarding," she says via phone.

Save A Life Canada is Halifax-based network of dog-lovers like Carpenter, rescuing four-legged friends from around the globe to help them find their forever homes.

"We foster dogs over a two-week adjustment period so we can get to know them, so they can be well-matched for trial adoptions," Carpenter explains.

The dogs come from far and wide. Carpenter says there are a few local hounds in the pack but most come from Texas and California—states with astronomic rates of strays, and shelters so overcrowded many dogs get euthanized.

"People give us flack, saying 'Why don't you save Canadian dogs first?' but 6,700 dogs get put to sleep a day across the US," she adds.

Though Save A Life Canada has aims to broaden its net to western Canada—and other areas where the dog population is at a dangerous high—its latest group of fur babies are mostly from San Antonino, Texas:

"[The hurricane] was a great time to get some of the dogs that'll be left behind or forgotten " Carpenter says.

Here, we get a glimpse at seven of the previous doggos looking for a fresh start:

While the backstory on Darcy is unknown, Save A Life knows she must have had a sad upbringing. When the dog arrived from Texas, she was incredibly timid and refused to leave her crate. Progress is slow but coming along. Darcy’s foster mom says she’s learning to cuddle and eat during the day.

This fiercely loyal chihuahua mix is looking to be your best friend and cuddle buddy. Munchie is fun and sweet—but doesn’t want to share you with other pets or children. Hey, she’ll love you more than they ever could, anyway.

Billy is a six-month-old female lab mix who arrived at SALCARS from a high-kill shelter this fall. Her previous home abused her, meaning she’s shy and cautious around new humans. A quiet home with patient people (and even cats!) would be the perfect fit for her confidence to grow.

A three-legged corgi mix, Sara needs a fenced backyard to run around in and would do well in a home with other dogs or cats.

Just like you, Duke’s favourite way to spend a lazy weekend morning is cuddling in bed (though he’ll skip the coffee, thanks very much). A medium-energy chihuahua mix, he’s best suited to a home where he’s the only pet, as sharing toys or your affection makes him anxious.

A pit bull mix, Sapphire is at risk of euthanasia due to Texas’ overcrowded shelters. Save A Life is looking for a loving, temporary home to save this sweetie. Think you fit the bill? Apply at

Rescued from what Carpenter calls a “kill shelter,” this one-and-a-half year old, nine-pound chihuahua mix is a bundle of energy and loves to cuddle.

About The Author

Morgan Mullin

Morgan is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at The Coast, where she writes about everything from what to see and do around Halifax to profiles of the city’s creative class to larger cultural pieces. She’s been with The Coast since 2016.

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