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10 questions with Loulou's Rescues

President & founder: LOUISE MAKOVSKY
Location: Montreal
Animals rescued: dogs, cats & many others​

Interview by Allan Tong & Shaina Jones

How did your love for animals begin?

Though I grew up in Montreal, I spent my summers in a village 30 minutes from Mont Tremblant. I was close to nature. I'd buy kittens from kids who were abusing them, smuggle them back to the city and look for homes for them. I once even brought a cow and her calf to my family's chalet. I had a tough childhood and connecting with animals was a way of finding comfort, refuge and companionship. Animals are pure–they love you and don't want to hurt you.


What was your first animal rescue?

After working in the film industry for 15 years, I travelled around Latin America and visited places including monkey sanctuaries and other animal rescue places. When I returned to Montreal (and after my father died in 2008), I answered an ad on Craigslist looking for fosters. I climbed onto a truck with crates full of dogs that were removed from puppy mills. When I walked to the back of the truck a dog wagged her tail at me. Everyone gasped, because the dogs are usually fearful. I took her home. When we got to my place she came out of the car, looked up and wagged her tail. She had never seen the sky.  


Why did you start your own animal rescue? 

In Quebec, there is a need to have alternate ways to deal with animal abandonment besides euthanization. Through rescuing, I make people aware of what is really going on. I see a connection between taking better care of the animals around us with better living conditions for humans. Getting people to care for animals and for people is a great way of showing hope and love. 


What was one challenging rescue in the early days of Loulou's?

One dog had not seen a vet and was pregnant, so I ended up with six puppies to place. She also had a bad case of roundworm and ringworm. I took care of the ringworm with natural remedies, healthy eating and a clean environment. I eventually brought her to a vet. I made a deal with the person that got her out of the puppy mill, but ended up with more than $3,000 of expenses. 





















What was the reaction to your work around Montreal?

Some people saw that I was doing a good job and sent me food donations and spread a positive word. For instance, I ended up fostering a dog for Gerdy's and interviewed the family she would eventually go to. A beautiful story. Also, Project Sphinx helped me a lot by finding me better prices for vet care and by promoting adoptions. 


Who helps with Loulou's?

I run things pretty much on my own, but volunteers are always important and I really appreciate their efforts.


What typically happens when you rescue an animal?

Immediately, I get them vet care if needed, get them healthy, fed, and look for suitable homes, safe environments so the animal can heal and trust the humans there. I visit prospective homes, ask for references, interview owners extensively, see what the animal feels with them and vice versa. I offer a lot of back-up and follow-up.


How do animals end up at Loulou's?

Many ways. I spot ads on the internet for animals in trouble. People who are terminally ill, or they really can't handle an animal. People selling or giving away animals that need care, so somehow I get them. Often, people bring them to me, because they see abuse or know the home is not safe or the animal was dumped. For example: there was Eevee, a Staffordshire Terrier. Eevee was pregnant, but the boyfriend of the girl owner wanted to drown them. (A sick way of birth control—don't fix the dog, but get rid of the puppies.) However, a lady bought Eevee and contacted me to see if I could place Eevee and her puppies. So, I built a pen in my front room for the puppies. (Man, was that ever an experience!) Eevee had 11 puppies and 10 survived, but because she was so malnourished she got an infection. I had to separate her from her puppies for three weeks.



























What have been some rescues that stick out in your mind?

I once had a rooster that was living under a balcony in -20C weather. It took me two weeks to find a wonderful farm where he is now thriving. I also had a pig that someone was selling on the internet. I took him, because somebody was picking up pigs and selling them for an outrageous amount of money. Pigs often end up being killed, because people can't handle them. I placed that one on a farm with a woman who rescues horses and other animals.  


What advice would you give someone who wants to start a rescue?

Be ready for frustrations as much as the happy moments. Try to be a team--it's hard to do it alone. Study all you can so you can make better decisions: training, nutrition, contracts, community effects and be ready to follow up to ensure the animals are safe. Don't be cheap on food as it helps the animals to have a better quality of life, plus you pay lower vet bills. Most importantly, when you realize you can't take an animal in, be able to say no and do everything to redirect the animal to another rescue. People often bring an animal to you, then disappear. So be ready to not get help from them, though ask for it when they first bring in that animal. Also get them to sign off cats, birds and dogs as they may want them back after you have invested a lot. It only avoids problems and you can actually see if they really don't want the animal at that point.

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