Sanctuary Dogs

What is a Sanctuary Dog?


Sanctuary dogs are not broken. They have simply had more challenging life experiences than other dogs.

Don't pity them, adopt them and let them show you their greatness.

K9 Crusaders is a registered, non-profit all breed dog rescue located in Northumberland County, Ontario. We are foster-based, but have a small sanctuary space located on the property of Walnut Grove Daycare Boarding and Spa in beautiful rural Castleton.

Meet Brianna

Brianna came to us from a local shelter in 2017. She had been surrendered after a minor biting incident involving a child, that sounded like it could have been a case of Brianna following her instinct to herd. As a Border Collie mix, this very active and highly intelligent girl has struggled to fit into a forever home ever since. She has been in a total of 4 homes in the 4 years of her life, each time, being returned due to her behavior. Brianna is a very dominant dog but that often isn't apparent until she has settled into a new environment. While she can be very calm and affectionate with trusted humans, Brianna is not hesitant to use her teeth when she is feeling threatened, or she is protecting something of value to her like food, treats or toys. Further challenging is that she was never properly socialized as a pup, and is now highly reactive to other dogs and has shown some evidence of separation anxiety. After so many failed attempts, and watching her grieve the loss of her families time and time again, our team agreed that Brianna needed the firm structure of the sanctuary, and has thrived as a result of the clear rules boundaries and limits there, while also bonding with the kennel staff.


Brianna has never had a biting incident at the sanctuary, and has enjoyed spending one on one time with staff and volunteers as well as her monthly forest walks and massages with Emily of Spots n' Stripes. She seems much more at ease in a controlled environment, and so we have committed to providing safe haven for her unless and until we can find someone with experience in dealing with dogs with her difficult history, and who meet our strict requirements, while also wanting to invest a great deal of time and energy into developing trust and rapport with Brianna, to help her increase her confidence and overcome her insecurities in a home environment.


Here is what we would consider in a forever home for Brianna:

  • Must have a strong knowledge and experience with Border Collies

  • Must be active, and have a good sized, well secured yard

  • Must not be out of the home for extended periods of time

  • Must be willing to meet Brianna's high physical and mental stimulation needs, while ensuring her safety and the safety of others - NO DOG PARKS

  • Must be free of children and dogs, visiting or otherwise

  • Willing to sign a liability waiver and stay in contact with K9 Crusaders with photos or updates

Meet Halo

Halo is our longest standing resident at the sanctuary. At 11 years old, this beautiful, senior American Bully has been bounced in and out of homes, rescues and shelters for most of his past life. He joined us in 2015, and has been returned from two potential adoptive homes, and has had many applications fall through for one reason or another...yet he remains one of the sweetest, most lovable dogs we have ever met. Halo cannot share space with other animals and even though has previously worked with Trainers and Behaviourists, he remains a dog who cannot safely live with other animals.


Halo is NOT an aggressive dog who actively wants to fight..but he is a highly reactive power breed who will not back down, even to his own detriment. Halo does not offer any prior warning through posturing, growling, or other body language, which makes it very challenging to manage safely...and it can happen in the blink of an eye. At the sanctuary, Halo has his own large, private and secure yard, with lots of space to run and play with his favourite toys. He enjoys an active life with lots of exploring of the nearly 60 acres of wooded property with his trusted human companions. His large, luxury sleeping quarters are set up to look like that of a typical home, with his own sofa, bed, furnishings, blankets and toys. He enjoys frequent car rides and field trips, along with occasional sleepovers with Anna, who is his primary handler as she oversees the sanctuary on a daily basis. Once a month, Halo is visited by his pal Emily of Spots n' Stripes for a long forest walk followed by a relaxing massage, which he absolutely melts into. He has had a recent hernia repair, but is still very much an active, healthy dog. All in all, we strive to enrich his life as much as we can, and it is filled with love, but as with all of our sanctuary babies...we dream of finding him his very own happily ever after...most ideally with one human who will be his very best friend. Halo loves all people, but in truth, he is a total marshmallow for men, and would make one heck of a best friend to an active, single male.

After years of failed attempts at placements, shared crossposts from other rescues, and multiple applications submitted and withdrawn for various reasons, we realized being so active on social media may have actually been working against him, so we decided to pull Halo off our adoptable dogs list, and designate him as a sanctuary dog. This means that he has a safe and loving place to call home for the rest of his life without any danger of euthanasia, but we also remain open to finding him his perfect forever home. However, our standard application process does not apply to Halo, and we will only consider only homes that we feel have the true potential to be his last.


With this in mind, we have very specific, non-negotiable requirements for him as follows:

  • Must be pet free, including visitors.

  • Must have no children under the age of 12.

  • Must have a fully fenced and secure yard.

  • Must have access to quiet, secluded areas nearby for walking ON-LEASH ONLY - NO DOG PARKS!

  • Must be able to safely meet his activity needs.

  • Must be willing to stay in contact with K9 Crusaders to provide photos and updates on a regular basis.

K9 Crusaders Sanctuary Dogs

Meet Halo