This is most definitely not a dog training blog but I wanted to post this video from Bad Rap because it's the best I've ever seen on how to desensitize dog on dog leash aggression in a fearful dog since dog on dog aggression is one of the many reasons some people give for surrendering their pets.

I realize not everyone has access to as well-staffed a facility as the one run by Bad Rap but there's still lots which can be taken away from the video to help an anxious dog on its daily walks.

Plus, Bad Rap is such a great organization, you all should just go check out their website if you haven't heard of them before.



The Toronto Humane Society's Annual General Meeting was held two nights ago and five of the board seats were up for grabs. Four board members were seeking re-election: Marcie Laking (President), Dr. Karen Nasir, Stephen Steele (Treasurer) and Wendy Strickland (Vice President). Along with Dean Maher, these five candidates comprised the board endorsed slate and all five were elected.

I've always had the utmost respect for Marcie especially since that time we drove to Montreal for a vacation of cleaning poopy dog cages on hands and knees, getting dog pooped on in the car and carrying scared, poopy dogs around to bring them outside for their walks. She's a no nonsense President who isn't above getting her hands poopy when necessary.

Dr. Karen Nasir is a vet - one of two vets on the THS board. She gave the most eloquent speech, I thought, quoting Ghandi (you know, The greatness of a nation etc.) and another famous guy I can't remember (I should've taken notes but the seats were too jammed packed and I'd already knocked a cup of water out of Johanna Booth's hand and onto my shoe giving myself a soaker and so I wasn't going to be swinging my elbow around trying to write because who knows what further damage that would've caused). Karen also does track days on a motorcycle which may not have anything to do with being on the board of an animal charity but it is kinda cool.

Stephen Steele, I have never met but he gave a good speech about how the THS board is the best board he's ever been on and he's been on lots of them being one of those movers and shakers who does those sorts of things. He also seems like a good treasurer type in that he wasn't too crazy and sounded like he knows some math or at least knows his way around a calculator.

Wendy Strickland is a very well respected long time volunteer at the THS. Wendy gave by far the most heart felt speech of the evening and got a loud round of applause and cheering from the audience. I think she might have gotten a bit emotional by the end of her speech but I'm not sure because I was distracted by that water I'd spilled on my shoe which was soaking through and making my socks wet. I hate that feeling.

Dean Maher, I have never met and don't really know much about him but the people around me seemed to like him so I checked his name off on my ballot.

There were a bunch of other people running under the banner "Animals First" or something like that. They had names like Bob and Tim and some other names and they mostly complained about how terrible Toronto Animal Services is which made it seem like they were running for a management position at TAS instead of a board seat at the THS. Think of the kittens, Tim said at one point and I did and I thought about this cat which was trapped and left to die in a ceiling at the THS when Tim and Bob and those other names were in charge of the place. Unfortunately, there were police present so I couldn't throw my wet shoe at anyone.

Anyway, congratulations to the elected board members. I know you'll do your best to continue to improve the Toronto Humane Society and I'm looking forward to an even stronger and greater life saving partnership between the Toronto Humane Society and Toronto Animal Services.



Ricky is a good dog hiding in the body of a rapscallion. He's a bit too much of this and a bit too little of that but that's because no one's ever shown him anything different. Ricky's come up from a pound in Ohio so he's basically just escaped getting euth'd by a wag of a tail. And before that, whoever owned him didn't do a very good job of teaching him manners. Ricky's got potential, though. He's spirited. He's fun. He's made for action and adventure and he loves hanging out with people.




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.



My name is Kimberly Thomas, and I am the owner of Kismutt Rescue. James McClean [at Toronto Animal Services South] is a good friend of mine, and I send him many puppy mill dogs. He is a great guy!

I wanted to send you a couple of more videos of the latest mill dogs I sent to James. This video shows the dogs being shaved here at Kismutt Rescue. The matting is horrendous and you can clearly see in the video the hundreds of fleas on the skin as the matts are being shaved away. I have been rescuing these puppy mill dogs for 11 years now. I have been trying to no avail to shut them down. I work with the townships, the OSPCA, and it is like banging your head against the wall. I have over 40 Amish puppy mills that surrender their dogs to me that they are going to shoot.

What is important for the public to know, is that puppy mills are not illegal. Each year they are inspected by the Township and the OSPCA and their kennel licenses are renewed. These poodles are from a licensed puppy mill and his license was just renewed again. All his dogs look like this (all 110 breeding adults). Every Amish mill dog looks like this but yet they pass their inspections. It is pathetic. I would be so thrilled if you could post this video on your blog and explain to your followers what is happening.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. God Bless.


Done.

In the video below is one of the pups from yesterday's post after it's been rescued.

It might be difficult to see in the video (viewing full screen in Youtube helps) but those black specks against the bare skin are all fleas.



These dogs are in terrible shape. Besides being matted and filthy and covered in fleas, they've got numerous health issues which need to be resolved - if possible (one of them might have cancer) - as well as behavioural issues such as being afraid of humans.

People often wonder what the big deal is with puppy mills because all they see are the cleaned up photos of the for sale pups on sites like Kijiji selling through brokers and agents acting as fronts. Well, this is the big deal. For all those cute pups that are being sold to uninformed or uncaring buyers, there are multitudes of dogs like these ones here who will suffer their whole lives for some consumer's pleasure.



Toronto Animal Services South will be taking three of these guys(I'll let you know when they come in) and Anne and Pete's Foster Home for Dogs will be taking the other two.

Thanks again to Kismutt for doing the rescue and taking the video. If you have a moment, click over to the Kismutt website and give them some props for the great work they do.





Lady was in adoption room 3 and she sat calmly but eagerly behind her kennel door as I approached her to take her out for her photos. She is a Bernese Mountain Dog/Great Pyrenees cross and was used for breeding at a puppy mill or a backyard breeder in Ontario.

I was expecting some behaviour often associated with dogs from these environments but instead Lady behaved like, well, a lady. She waited at doors until they were opened for her. She never pulled on the leash. She was affectionate and did not shy away from friendly strangers - at least that was the case until we stopped to do the photographs.

There are a few locations where I bring the dogs for their photographs and I choose which one based on time of day, weather, season, crowds, personality of the dog. I walked Lady to a grassy patch near the far end of the TAS building and sat down with her just to hang out for a few moments. On the way over, we'd already passed several people and a couple of dogs and I didn't notice any reaction to them from Lady.

At the spot where I wanted to take the photos, I pulled out my camera and tried to turn it on only to find the batteries were dead. No photos then but it was a nice afternoon and I didn't want to just bring her back to her kennel so we sat there in the half sun/half shade and enjoyed the weather. Lady came over for some attention and leaned into me so I scratched her chin and rubbed her chest and I started talking to her in my own invented dog language which I won't go into here because then I would lose all respect.

Five minutes later and it was all pretty relaxing when suddenly Lady stiffened and turned away and started pacing at the end of her leash. She was anxious and I looked around to see what it was. Maybe a new dog in the vicinity, or a squirrel? All I saw was a woman walking along the sidewalk about twenty five meters away. I tried to call Lady back over to me but she was getting more agitated, making little whining/barking noises and kept pacing.

I looked around again to see if I missed something and that's when I noticed the woman walking off the sidewalk and toward us.

Usually, when I have the camera out with the dogs, people tend to leave me alone or at least stand back a reasonable distance. This woman, however, walked right up. For a moment I thought she wasn't going to stop and would walk right over us but then she put the brakes on and sat down just a couple of meters away. She wasn't disheveled looking but she did have on a few too many layers of clothing for the warm weather. Maybe she was just caught off guard by the heat.

"Hey," I said to her.

"Hi," she said. "My brother has a dog. His name is Gerald and I think Gerald is a Cocker Spaniel but I'm not sure. My brother got Gerald when he was a puppy from a family and the family told him the dog was only going to grow into a small dog but the dog actually grew quite big. I think it's about forty pounds. My brother feeds him twice a day but he also gives him a lot of snacks. I've always wanted a video camera. I know all my friends have still cameras and still cameras are very trendy but I want a video camera. I've got some projects I'm working on. It's quite good here in the shade. The sun is too hot today. Does your dog have a name? What kind of dog is it? I think it looks like a Collie. I've been walking all day and it's really hot ..."

"Yeah, it's too hot to be in the sun," I interrupted. "The shade's nice, though."

"It's good here. I like sitting under the trees. My brother has a dog. Gerald is about ten now. Maybe he's twelve. I don't think he gets enough exercise. He's fat. He doesn't go outside very much. Do you know a good video camera? Or ...? It's hot now but not bad in the shade. Is there a soccer game on? I saw some people walking around. There are a lot of people here today ..."

And on she went and every minute or so I'd say something in response to something she's said and she'd actually hear what I had to say and redirect her monologue so it better suited my interjections. Still, the woman was bonkers. Lady had picked up on that from twenty five meters away.

The woman continued talking at me. She was obviously no threat and Lady calmed down enough to go sniff her. Then it was the woman's turn to freeze. Well, she didn't really freeze but she stopped talking which is probably the equivalent of freezing for her and she just looked at Lady like she was ready to scream or run or faint if Lady made any sudden moves. Or maybe she was fine with Lady. I didn't know. I realized I wasn't able to read this person at all.

Just in case, I didn't want there to be any incident so I got up and called Lady back.

"See you later," I said to the woman. "Enjoy the rest of the day," and then I walked away.

"Bye," the woman said. "I ..." but the crowd in the stadium roared and banged their drums and her words were drowned out.

******************************

Lady, from another day when my camera batteries were working:





Polar is a wonderful Siberian Husky mix who's a bit flaky around cars. He really doesn't trust them much. At one point on our walk, a van stopped just in front of us and someone opened the side door to let some passengers out. Polar momentarily froze and looked over at them like they were a horde of alien zombies exiting their invasion ship and then immediately pulled me away from there just in the nick of time.

I have to admit I thought Polar was a bit stand-offish at first but realized he was just anxious in the parking lot. Once we settled down, away from all the cars, he turned to me and pawed me gently for attention. Despite the car thing, I really liked this guy's genial personality. Along with Lady (the Bernese cross) and Care Bear (the Black Lab), there are some wonderful big dogs at Toronto Animal Services right now.




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.



Here's a Kijiji ad (click on image to enlarge):



Pictures from the ad:







Notice the mother in some of the pictures. She's keeping an eye on her children. She's attentive, loving, maternal, even gets along with the cat.

Here's her reward:



Rescued by Kismutt.

Lady is now available for adoption through Toronto Animal Services South or call 416 338 6668 for the Toronto Animal Services South shelter. If Lady is no longer on the TAS adoption website, it's probably because she's been adopted already.



Joey has got quite a distinctive Beagle bark when he's trying to get someone's attention. Arf arf. High low. Arf arf. A little like an out of tune horn. He's fine as soon as I get the leash on him. I take him out and he follows his nose but he's crazy about it. We walk to the far side of the building where I take some photos.

He's pretty personable and a natural in front of the camera. Don't Beagles have that eyeliner thing down to perfection? And how can anyone go wrong with those big, floppy ears?

On the way back, Joey suddenly plants his nose into the ground and sniffs up a storm. He starts retracing his steps and walking in circles trying to locate some scent. He pulls me across the grass, across the sidewalk. He's frantic with this scent whatever it is. Then he stops and before I can pull him back, he picks up and eats two little finger nail sized pieces of what looked like pita bread.

Pita bread? I'm like, seriously? You went to all that effort for two lousy morsels of pita bread?

Later, inside, I'm thinking he's hungry so I grab some doggie cookies. He sniffs one, takes it in his mouth, spits it out. If he's still there next weekend, I'll have to remember to bring some pita bread.




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.




Two more puppy mill rescues are at Toronto Animal Services South, this time a bonded pair of mother and son. The son is the larger of the two and at barely a year old, is acclimatizing to people much better than his mother who has been locked up way too long. She is coming around but she's still a little unsure when people approach and neither of them will go outside if I just put them on a leash. The trick is to carry the mother out and say to the son, "Look, mom's going out. You coming?" and then after a moment of consideration, the boy follows.

Once outside, the boy's quite happy to sniff around as long as you don't try to make him walk any distance away from his mother and since his mother won't walk much at all, she has to be carried around if you want to get her son to move around a bit further afield.



These are two very cute dogs but TAS is going to try to adopt them out as a bonded pair, the third such pair in the last couple of months, and it's never an easy thing to find homes for bonded pairs. In this case, there is the added bonus that they aren't quite housebroken although the son is almost there. Maybe at some point, they could be separated if no one steps forward to take them together but for now, they are the only comfort each other have in this brand new world outside the cage of the puppy mill.



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.



(Lost track of this guy. I thought he was still at TAS but he was adopted on Monday.)

Milo steps back and is a bit nervous the first time I meet him in his run. I sit down beside him and wag my fingers in his direction and soon enough he's coming over to check things out and then it's all good.

He's got this world weary look on his face which is offset by his big, fancy ears (maybe a bit of Papillon in him?). I don't think he's going to be at TAS for long, so if you want him, better hurry.




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.



Bella is another of the dogs found in the cardboard box outside the Toronto Humane Society and transferred to Toronto Animal Services. She was adopted just this past weekend.




Accompanying the dogs in the box was a notebook with what looked like breeder's comments on each of the dogs. The handwriting was girlish: big round printed letters in different coloured inks with decorative flourishes and happy faces. It was a record of when and how often each dog had been bred and when they could be bred again. There was a sense of affection from the words mixed in with the exploitation diary of the dogs.





It's a strange thing to leave behind. Did the owner think the THS might be interested in breeding the dogs themselves and she was just being helpful? She writes about the dogs like they're family but one doesn't put their family in a box and deposit them at a stranger's doorstep. I wonder what the story was. I wonder if there was sadness here in letting the dogs go or if this was a simple business decision.



Tommy should be a model. Look at that face! This little poodle should have no problems getting adopted with those super expressive eyes of his.





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.



Jill is an absolutely lovely little Jack Russell Terrier. For a single breed, JRTs really come in a variety of sizes and Jill is very much on the petite side. She's not a teacup or anything but maybe it's just the way she carries herself, quiet and demure, happy like a spring flower. Oops, update. Apparently, Jill does have a bit of a bark after all. When she sees people going into the adoption room and there's the possibility of some attention, she lets out a few yips.




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.



About a month ago, a box was left outside the Toronto Humane Society. Inside there were eleven mini-dogs, mostly Toy Poodles, Chihuahuas and Poodle/Chihuahua mixes. The box of dogs was transferred to Toronto Animal Services South where it was discovered one of the dogs had been ganged up on by the some of the others and had been injured. While getting bullied is never any fun, that particular dog was sent to a vet clinic where someone fell in love with it and adopted it, so, as it turned out, it was the first one home.

Of the remaining dogs, some went to TAS-North and some went to TAS-East. I've seen their photos and descriptions come up on the TAS adoption page over the last month and I think those ones have all been adopted out by this point.

The remaining three at TAS South were just put into adoption last week (due to some lingering medical issues?) and over the weekend two of them were homed. The last remaining dog is this little girl, Nene, and I'm not sure why she hasn't been snatched up.

Maybe her "problem" is that she is constantly chit chatting. I can't remember the last time I've walked a dog with so much to say. It's not barking really, though there is the occasional yip. It's mostly squeaks and purrs. It's like she's talking on a cell phone in some mini-mutt language. I think she's just putting on a show, pretending she's super popular so that someone will like her and take her home.


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.



When I was in at TAS-S Saturday afternoon I saw a young couple hanging out with Care Bear in the meet and greet room. They looked like they were all getting along fabulously and so I hoped it was a match. Unfortunately, when I got back from walking another dog, I saw Care Bear had been returned to her kennel.

That's okay, though. I'm sure someone will be taking her home soon enough. Care Bear, like her namesake, is a hug monster. She likes nothing better than curling up beside someone for a good evening of tv watching. She also likes going exploring or eating big piles of food or running after a ball. Care Bear pretty much likes anything as long as it's an activity she can share with her human.




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.



Hey, here's a video of Nancy and Sepehr running around on their short legs and it's narrated by Toronto Animal Services South's most excellent Nicola Ware:



Seriously, I could not stop taking pictures of this little Shih Tzu. Everyone who walked by wanted to pick her up and squeeze but Taylor is actually all covered in mattes and maybe that's why she wasn't too thrilled with getting handled. Next time I see her, her hair may be shorn but as they say about hair, it will grow back.









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.





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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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