The Laika Fund began as an effort to help save and home, first one litter of Romanian street puppies, then two. In the process, we saw how desperate the situation was, for literally millions of street dogs, and for the relatively few rescuers who fight to end their misery. We witnessed cruelty and suffering on an unimaginable scale, and resolved to help where we can, and advocate spay, neuter, release, and education as the long term solution. Done correctly, it is the ONLY humane and viable solution. Along the way, we will help those dogs that we can, to get to a better life. We covet your help to do this. Please contact us if you can help with sponsoring, fostering, to be a flight volunteer, or to adopt. You can reach us on our facebook page, or via email at:

"Saving one dog won't change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever." 


THE ORIGINAL LAIKA, was a stray dog plucked from the streets of Moscow, and trained along with two other dogs for a mission which would launch one of them into space and to it's death. Laika, thought to be a husky, terrier mix, was ultimately chosen to be the victim of this experiment. Originally named Kudryavka (Little Curly) this dog renamed Laika (which referred to several husky type breeds of dog) along with the other two, Albina (Laika's backup) and Mushka (used to test the sensors and instruments), were subjected to some uncomfortable and distressing training prior to the mission. It was reported that one of the scientists involved with her training, took Laika home to play with his children before she was sent to her death, as a last kindness to her. On November 3, 1957, she was placed into the Sputnik 2 capsule, a technician said they kissed her on the nose before sealing her inside, and wished her "bon voyage", knowing she would not survive. The Soviets originally stated that Laika survived for almost a week, however it was revealed after several decades, that in fact she perished within hours of the launch, from overheating and panic. Her vitals which were being monitored, showed that she suffered tremendous stress during the launch and flight, and that she had died by the fourth orbit. The capsule with Laika's body inside, continued to orbit the earth some 2,570 times, before burning up on re entry to the atmosphere on April 14, 1958. Laika's death was widely criticized by many around the world, and in fact some of the Russians involved with her preparation for the mission, expressed regret. Oleg Gazento, a scientist made this statement: "Work with animals is a source of suffering to all of us. We treat them like babies who cannot speak. The more time passes, the more I'm sorry about it. We shouldn't have done it... We did not learn enough from this mission to justify the death of the dog." 

Memorialized in the Soviet Union and around the world after her death, Laika was the first of many dogs, and other animals in space. Some returned, some did not. Her story is a sad reminder of what some have suffered in the name of advancement.


On a September 2013 trip to Romania to bring three of a group of dogs Rebecca was helping get to Canada, she witnessed a heartbreaking number of strays on the streets, and on her last afternoon there, one in particular caught her attention - a smaller girl limping on three legs. Like the others, she was hungry, thin, cold, wet and afraid, but only being able to walk on three legs, she would have a much more difficult time competing for what little food would be available, and certainly wouldn't be able to avoid dogcatchers. At this point Rebecca did not know anyone in Bucharest, so got online to find help. After receiving a name and number to call, and being told help was on the way, she went outside and located the dog, waiting several hours in the dark with her wrapped inside a sweatshirt, in freezing cold rain and high winds that knocked out power to that section of the city, until they were both soaked and frozen, for help that never did come. After midnight, some of the hotel staff kindly found a basement maintenance room to put her in for the night, as they realized Rebecca would not leave her. She curled up on a jacket put there for her, and was still lying there in the morning when Rebecca's friends arrived from Bacau. (Probably the first warm dry night she'd had in awhile) The hotel guards had said they called her "Laika", after the Russian stray that had been trained in the late 1950's for a mission in space which ultimately killed her. Rebecca decided at that moment that this Laika would have a happier ending, and that night sitting holding and talking to her, told her that her name would be the name of the rescue she had been wanting to start. Laika stayed for two months with rescue friends in Bacau, whole she was prepared for travel, and now lives in Canada with the Ashworth family.