The Chinook Owners Association maintains a rescue program to help find new homes for Chinook dogs in need. Usually, a Chinook dog needs to be placed in a new home because the owner can no longer care for the dog because of illness or personal problems. Sometimes, a dog's owner may die and the dog may need immediate placement in a temporary home until a permanent home is found. While some dogs in need of rescue are healthy, properly socialized dogs, others may have special needs and may have a difficult time transitioning into new homes.
For instance, several years ago, a man in Alaska with several Chinooks had a heart attack and could no longer care for his dogs. These dogs were working sled dogs who lived outside in kennels. Some were skittish around people, children and other dogs. These dogs needed to be placed in homes with patient owners who could retrain the dogs to live in new environments. Some of the dogs, like Cupid pictured at left, went to temporary homes so that their needs could be evaluated. This rescue was very successful and the dogs have made transitions into new permanent homes.
In another situation, a C.O.A. member learned of a bunch of Chinook Cross puppies through an ad in a newspaper advertising "free Chinook puppies". These free puppies were seven six-month old puppies living at an abandoned farm. Although they had food, water and limited shelter, the puppies were completely deprived of socialization. These pups were secured from the owner and placed with many new homes throughout the country. Although some of the dogs made very slow progress, others have all thrived in their new homes. All of the new owners love their dogs.
If Cupid Could Talk - by Michael & Karen Crowley
If this 8 year old "Alaskan Rescue Dog" could talk, she'd tell you some great stories. She'd start with tales of her early years, spent as a working sled dog in Alaska. She'd speak of times spent with all her sled dog friends, of cold moonlit nights howling back and forth with the local wolves and of days of exhilarating trail rides through the rough terrain. If you asked her of the name Cupid given her, she would go into rewarding memories of how she and eleven other dogs would mush to town for supplies and all the local children would run out to greet them. Her person had named them after Santa's reindeer and the children loved it. In sadness she would remember when he became ill and couldn't care for his dogs anymore. They all went through some very times of hunger and neglect.
Cupid and a few other lucky dogs became known as the "Alaskan Rescue Dogs" when they were saved from their conditions and brought to the East Coast. She would go on about the terrifying U-Haul ride and the stresses of having so many temporary places to live. But, she'd much rather speak of her first encounter with Michael and Karen Crowley. It's been three years since she met them while she was staying with Bob and Connie Jones. Back then, it didn't take any more than a telephone to ring or a car to drive by and she would shake and cower to the ground. All the noises of this new world were never part of her past. Michael and Karen fell in love with her and took her into their home. With lots of love and patients, they did everything possible to make her life enjoyable and she's now very tolerant of her new surroundings. She's developed quite an adorable personality and has become a loving part of their family. She'd now speak of days full of love and affection, not only from them but also her newly adopted baby Chinook sister, Meka. She'd tell you about daily walks and the beach on weekends. Cupid would probably tell you that it's her favorite place to go along with visits to Bob and Connie's with their entourage of Chinooks. In a nutshell, Cupid would tell you she is spoiled rotten, healthy and happy. There's no place she'd rather be.
Because Chinook dogs are rare and families often wait years to get a Chinook puppy, rescue situations are quite unusual. This is especially true because most Chinook breeders agree to take back a puppy from their kennel for the life of the dog and will actively work on their own to find new placements. If a rescue situation does occur, the C.O.A. attempts to place the dog in the right home, not just the first available home. Therefore, all potential new homes are screened and dogs are placed in the home that best meets their needs.
For more information about the Rescue Program, please contact the rescue coordinator (form).
If you are interested in providing a temporary or permanent home to a rescued Chinook, please complete and submit the form accessed through the link below: