The Don't You Want Me Rescue Grant: Canada

The Don’t You Want Me Project  (DYWM) has recently announced the unique and timely DYWM Rescue Grant . The Rescue Grant will enable someone from the queer and trans community in Toronto who is struggling with mental health issues the opportunity to adopt a rescue dog whilst also providing ongoing support.  

We’re seeking YOUR support for this lifesaving initiative!

Our first very deserving recipient whose life YOU can help to change for the better will be announced on Trans Day of Visibility. As witnessed throughout the DYWM Project we anticipate that the arrival of the rescue dog will have a profoundly transformative impact not only on the recipient's mental health but holistically, on every aspect of their life. 

Approximately half of the DYWM Project’s participants have said that their rescue dog saved their life.

The DYWM Rescue Grant aims to provide a complete practical and emotional toolkit to help transform the life of the individual who receives it. We’re keen to ensure that this grant helps to markedly improve the mental health of a recipient who we've determined - with the help of our mental health partner Friends Of Ruby - would benefit from dog ownership on many levels, and who has always yearned for the companionship of a dog but could never afford one.

Consider these numbers:

75% of trans adults have considered suicide
43% of trans adults have attempted suicide at some point in their lives
20-45% of Canada’s homeless youth identify as LGBTQ
49% of trans Canadians earn less than $15,000 annually
42% of the queer and trans community reported significant impacts of their mental health due to the pandemic compared to 30% of non queer /trans people

Queer and trans people are many times more likely to be discriminated against either in the workplace or in the recruitment process, and job security can therefore prove to be a stumbling block. By providing support towards the cost of dog ownership, the DYWM Rescue Grant seeks to make it easier for the recipient to provide a responsible home for their beloved new companion whilst also allowing them to make important career choices unfettered by the need to provide round-the-clock care.

We’re here asking for your help to build up the funds we need to support this individual and this rescue dog. It will be administered efficiently and put directly towards subsidizing these costs:
Health is the single most important thing - for dogs and humans! While Friends of Ruby will support the mental health of the individual, your donations will ensure the dog gets the veterinary care it needs - and these needs can be extensive. We will work directly with our recipient to understand their financial position and subsidize these costs accordingly, along with our vet partner and our rescue partner Save our Scruff.

Training: Sometimes a dog needs basic training to exist peacefully with its human, and sometimes it needs a lot more to feel stable and secure, on an ongoing basis. Your support will ensure our recipient and their dog gets the all the support they need in this arena, and along with our behaviorist partner will be able to make the best assessment and care plan.

Dog walking or daycare: As we pointed out above, many queer and trans people’s career choices are hindered for many reasons, most of them outside their control. This fund will help support them in their professional lives by making it possible to have a wonderful dog walker or day care in place when needed, so they can have their companion AND their career, without sacrificing either. We will use independent dog walkers and they can't afford to donate much of their time, so these donations will help subsidize these essential costs.

Any excess funds will go toward supporting our next recipient, and make the dream of additional grants possible even sooner.

The Don’t You Want Me Project is a global photography project showcasing the beauty and resilience of LGBTQI2S people with their rescue dogs. The Grant continues to go hand in hand with the original mission of the Don't You Want Me Project itself, building awareness within a mainstream audience to highlight the positivity that transpires when the marginalized receive unconditional love and support from each other. 

Our hope with this Grant AND with the Project, is it can be a start toward real change for improved mental health advocacy, animal adoption and for widespread societal acceptance of queer and trans people.

If you would like to help with any other aspects of the DYWM Rescue Grant such as marketing, videography, and social media, please contact us.



We also wish to thank the parties involved in the Toronto DYWM Rescue Grant to date: Doggy Dates Toronto, Friends of Ruby, Save Our Scruff, Nood Pet Food, Balmy Beach Pet Hospital, Small Wonders Pets, and Dogtopia Bloor West.


Jack Jackson
East York, ON

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