Caillin Rodonets remembers the day she decided she needed to do something to help dying dogs. 

She was visiting a reserve — one of many she visited through her work as a safety instructor — when she spotted an emaciated dog.

"There was a dog that was missing a paw," Rodonets said. "So, I called my friend Cady ... we brought her back."

That was the beginning of CC RezQs; CC for Caillin and Cady and RezQs because the canines are from Saskatchewan reserves, plus it's a play on words — RezQs, rescues. 

dexter the dog

Dexter is recovering thanks to the help of CC RezQs. (Facebook: CC RezQs Regina)

"You couldn't look at it without doing something," she said.

Now the Regina-based volunteer collective is small but mighty.

Rodonets, who is a trained medic, is one of a small group of dedicated people who rescue, foster and fundraise to cover neglected canine's expensive vet bills. Since 2014, she estimates CC RezQs has helped save more than 200 dogs.

Rodonets said many of the members drop everything, day or night, to drive and pick up dogs who are almost dead or in immediate need of help.

That was the case with Arrow.

'It was one of the worst weeks we've had in rescue'

arrow

Arrow was found like this by a Good Samaritan on a reserve near Regina. (Facebook: CC RezQs Regina)

The stray dog was found by a Good Samaritan near a reserve that is close to Regina. She was bleeding and had an arrow protruding from her back.

Two members of the CC RezQs team drove to the spot to pick up the badly injured animal.

"[It is] a very disheartening case to see," Rodonets said.

The next day, Rodonets said a badly injured dog from the Waywayseecappo First Nation in Manitoba was picked up by two volunteers and driven directly to TM'z Veterinary Clinic. The dog has not left yet.

dexter

This is how Dexter was found. (Facebook: CC RezQs Regina)

A few days before these cases, a puppy in the group's care died.

"It was one of the worst weeks we've had in rescue," Rodonets said. "Yesterday we did have to rush a puppy to the vet and this morning we also had to rush a puppy to the vet, who is not in good shape," Rodonets told CBC News on Friday morning.

She said the group has calls pouring in from people who have animals that need help, every day.

Big dreams

The group is hoping to receive registered charity status by the end of 2016.

Currently, the group relies solely on donations from the public, through online fundraisers, and from its members.

"Through donations we've been able to help these dogs that otherwise we wouldn't have been able to," she said

dexter

Dexter needs extensive medical care. He was found on a reserve, badly injured and brought to CC RezQs. (Facebook: CC RezQs Regina)

Currently the group is caring for 36 dogs.

Rodonets said her biggest dream is to one day make CC RezQs her full-time job. She has hopes to eventually be able to afford a holding facility for the animals, so that in emergency situations they do not have to turn away dogs for lack of space.

Caillin Rodonets

Caillin Rodonet with a rescued dog. (Caillin Rodonets/Submitted to CBC)

"These dogs make phenomenal pets. They're very independent, they're very loving and they're very easy to train as well."

Spay and neuter clinics and educational workshops in communities with large stray dog populations are CCRezQ's short-term goals.

"Big dreams," Rodonets said, laughing. 

"There's that moment with every dog when all of a sudden it clicks. When they realize that they don't have to be scared, they don't have to fight for food; that people are good."

caillin

Cady Shaw and Caillin Rodonets founded CC RezQs in 2012. (Caillin Rodonets/Submitted to CBC)