Two dogs arrived on a plane from Iran a couple of weeks ago and were brought to Toronto Animal Services South. They were flown over by a private rescuer/donor who had made arrangements with TAS to do their adoptions. I know some people will question the point of rescuing dogs from the Middle East when there are many closer at hand but dog rescue has never been just about efficiency. It's mostly about matters of the heart and if someone is walking down the street in Iran or Mexico or Thailand and meets a dog they feel compelled to save, who are we to question that impulse?

And I must say, if I met these two in a place which offered them little hope, I'd be pretty tempted to whisk them away with me on a plane as well.

From what I hear about Iran, the clerics there are against dog ownership.

From The Star, "Iran tries to make it illegal to own a dog":

“I would like to thank the honourable police and judges and all those who worked to arrest dog lovers and to confiscate short-legged dogs in this city,” cleric Gholamreza Hassani declared in the city of Urumiyeh.

“Happy are those who became martyrs and did not witness the playing with dogs! Now in our society, women wear hats and men hold dogs!” he added.


But that doesn't mean regular Iranians don't like dogs - and many do. Unfortunately, since it's almost getting to be illegal to walk a dog if you own one, a lot of dogs get "poached" or confiscated by the police if seen outside.

Word is that's how Nanci and Sepehr ended up being taken away from their owner and put in a zoo.

Granted, these two pooches do look pretty ridiculous. You walk up to Nanci and you'd expect to see something like this (care of Photoshop):


Okay, so that's not anything out of the normal but Nanci doesn't look like that. She looks like this:


Her legs are like less than half the length of any self-respecting "normal" dog - not that she seems to notice her deficiency. Nanci seems perfectly happy and perfectly fit. She seems totally oblivious to the fact that when she walks she has to move her legs twice as fast to keep up and looks like one of those cartoon dogs with the blurry, shuffling feet.


No one's quite sure what Nanci is so I'm going to call her a Punkadoodle.

She's a quiet, gentle girl with happy eyes and she loves human attention.


If I wanted to be stopped every ten seconds, everywhere I went, by people wanting to meet my dog, I'd get Nanci but Nanci isn't being adopted out on her own. She's being adopted out with her best pal Sepehr who is equally odd looking and that means not double but quadruple the fun because fun with dogs increases exponentially with number.

Post on Sepehr coming up.

The best way to check on the adoption status of this dog (and other dogs and cats and other small domestic animals) is to visit Toronto Animal Services adoption website or call 416 338 6668 for the Toronto Animal Services South shelter. If the dog is no longer on the TAS adoption website, it's probably because it's been adopted already.



3 Comments to “Nanci - Punkadoodle”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Is the discrimination only against short-legged dogs? The world is weird.

  2. selkie says:

    so cute.. and I"m glad they were rescued... what makes a dog in Iran less worth rescuing than one in Toronto? After all, their chances here in Toronto are WAY higher than in Iran! I'm trying to sort out transport for several dogs from Vietnam... if anyone knows any airlines that offer discounted rates for rescue dogs, would really appreciate an email (sheenaghm@hotmail.com)

  3. GoLightly says:

    That's pretty much why I don't travel, I'd be coming home with something furry, or worrying about said furriness for weeks afterward. Thanks for the lesson on animal welfare in Iran. Good luck to them both.

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A request

The reason for this blog is to help get specific dogs adopted from TAS but equally important is to try to normalize the idea of shelter dogs being just as good and just as desirable as any other dogs including those which are regularly merchandised by backyard breeders, puppy millers and those few remaining pet store owners who still feel a need to sell live animals. The single greatest stigma shelter animals still face is the belief that shelter animals are substandard animals. Anyone who has had enough experience with shelter animals knows this is untrue but the general public hasn't had the same experiences you've had. They see a nice dog photo in a glossy magazine and too many of them would never think of associating that dog with a dog from a shelter. After all, no one abandons perfectly good dogs, right? Unfortunately, as we all know, perfectly good dogs are abandoned all the time.

The public still too often associates shelter dogs with images of beat up, sick, dirty, severely traumatized animals and while we definitely sometimes see victims such as these, they are certainly not the majority and, regardless, even the most abused animals can very often be saved and made whole again.

Pound Dogs sometimes discusses the sad histories some of the dogs have suffered. For the most part, though, it tries to present the dogs not as victims but as great potential family members. The goal is to raise the profiles of animals in adoption centers so that a potential pet owner sees them as the best choice, not just as the charity choice.

So, here's the favour I'm asking. Whenever you see a dog picture on these pages you think is decent enough, I'd like you to consider sharing it on Facebook or any other social media sites you're using (I know many of you do this already and thank you for that). And when you share it, please mention that the dog in the photo is a shelter dog like so many other shelter dogs waiting for a home. If we can get even five percent of the pet buying public to see shelter dogs differently, to see how beautiful they are and how wonderful they are, and to consider shelter dogs as their first choice for a new family member, we can end the suffering of homeless pets in this country.
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