Thank you all Pound Dogs readers, sharers, adopters, rescuers, supporters for a hugely successful and lifesaving year. I can't quantify exactly how many dogs found homes directly through your efforts but certainly many of the hundreds of dogs which were rescued last year via Toronto Animal Services South (and hundreds more through all four locations of Toronto Animal Services city wide) benefited. And there is no doubt many, if not most, of those rescued dogs had shorter stays in the shelter than they would have had otherwise if not for your efforts in passing along their photos and info.

Thank you all for letting others know there are wonderful pound dogs out there waiting for someone to take them home.

Cheers and here's to a great 2013.



Phyloo reminds me of a dog good friends of mine had back several years ago when I didn't have a dog of my own. Every time we made plans to meet up I always suggested we do so at their place because I told them they had a much nicer place for company than I did. I think they appreciated the compliment but I think they also knew I suggested it mostly so I could hang out with their dog.

Phyloo was adopted a couple of weeks ago.





Frazer, a black German Shepherd, adopted almost immediately, is a great combination of smarts and a desire to please. He would be a great candidate for search and rescue work even if it's just searching for treats and rescuing snacks.





I'm playing catch up again with some of the dogs I missed posting on over the last couple of weeks. For the next few days, it'll be all dogs who are already snug in their new homes.

Falkor was named after the flying dog dragon in "The Neverending Story" - who was my favorite character in that movie - except I never knew he had a name until now.

Falkor, has one of the most pleasant personalities, and someone obviously agreed as he was snatched up the same morning he went into adoption.






(I've already posted an email from Toronto Animal Services West about Daisy and Rudy, two Cocker Spaniels, but I wanted to go visit them myself ...)

Where the eyes should be black, they are white and the white stops the subtleties of light from passing through clearly so Daisy sees only a hint of things, grey shadows or maybe not even that, maybe only big splotches of light and dark.

She bumps into things a lot. In the outdoor dog run, she bounces off the fence, bounces off the dog house, bounces off my leg, bounces off Rudy her companion.

Despite the darkness Daisy lives in, she is a bright dog. Her tail is always wagging and she is always exploring. She perceives her world, though it is misty and undefined, as a wonderful world. There is much to discover, much to be happy about. The other dogs sense this in her. The other dogs, even the dogs who don't like dogs, seem to like her or at least tolerate her.



Rudy is Daisy's partner in life. He sees everything and sees enough to be Daisy's lookout, guide and patient companion and maybe that's why he has a more sorrowful look on his face, a more melancholic demeanor. He sees and senses the fragility of their situation.

I'm told Rudy has a strong heart murmur. Despite that, he's come through a general anesthetic with no worries and the murmur is not noticeably affecting his health at the moment, at least not in any way we can measure. The vet hasn't recommended any medication for him for the time being but that may change in the future.



When Daisy and Rudy arrived they were matted, infested with fleas, had rotten teeth. They weren't abused but they were neglected. They were both delivered from the hands of a backyard breeder along with another male Cocker Spaniel. Same story you've all heard many times before. Same story I'm sure you'll hear many times again until we get these puppy profiteers under control.

Daisy and Rudy are both very pleasant dogs, both very well house trained and quiet. Rudy is nine and Daisy is six and Daisy has probably never known a life without Rudy.

These two belong in a home together so let's see if we can do that for them.




In the video, Daisy stands in front of my leg for a moment. She can sense something in front of her but isn't sure what it is. Then, she leans forward and sniffs and when she realizes it's me, she clambers up my leg in case I have a doggie treat to give her, which I do. Yes, I'm reinforcing her jumping up on people. That's one of the prerogatives of being a blind dog. They get to jump up on people and wait for treats.



Daisy and Rudy are at Toronto Animal Services WEST. If you are interested in more information about adopting them, visit Toronto Animal Services adoption website or call (416) 338-6271 for the Toronto Animal Services West shelter. If they are no longer on the TAS adoption website, it's probably because they've been adopted already.



Me: Merry Christmas, Simone!

Simone: What's Christmas?

Me: It's the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Simone: Who's Jesus Christ?

Me: Jesus Christ was a guy, around two thousand years ago, who went around turning water into wine, feeding the poor, turning the other cheek, telling people love is better than hate. He was kind of like the world's first hippie. And he got people to believe he was the son of God.

Simone: Who's God?

Me: God made Adam and Eve and he did that flood thing and dictated the ten commandments. He's omnipotent so he sees you when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake! A lot of people think God is the creator of the universe.

Simone: What's the universe?

Me: The universe is everything. It's Star Trek and Buddha and hockey. It's great architecture and mountain ranges and the sun and moon and stars. But it's also war and disease and death.

Simone: Does the universe smell like chicken?

Me: I don't know what the universe smells like.

Simone: I smell chicken.

Me: That's because that's your Christmas present.

Simone: So Christmas is chicken?

Me: Yes, Christmas is chicken.

Simone: Merry chicken Christmas!

Me: Merry chicken Christmas!



Faith most definitely has a Collie personality. She needs a hobby which preferably involves a lot of running. Jogging, fetching, herding - she wants to stretch those legs and feel the air rush past her face.




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.



These two are presently at Toronto Animal Services West. I'd luv to go meet them myself but with all the Christmas stuff going on, I'm not sure if I can squeeze in the time before the holidays. In the meanwhile, here's their write-up from TAS West:

Daisy is a 6 year old, spayed female Cocker Spaniel. She is blind in both eyes and may have been that way since birth – she certainly doesn't let it bother her! She is a very sweet girl and despite her disability, she is not nervous nor easily startled. If you speak to her, she will walk towards you. She walks very nicely (though slowly) on a leash – you have to be mindful though, because she will walk into obstacles if you don't look out for her. Daisy gets along well with other dogs, although it would not be fair to put her with a rambunctious youngster that would jump all over her.

Ideally, we would like to see Daisy go to a home that would also take her friend Rudy, a 9 year old neutered male. He is a very good natured, friendly fellow, although he doesn't really like some other male dogs. He will nudge Daisy along and encourage her when she's dawdling and she walks much more confidently when he's with her. Rudy has a heart murmur and may require further veterinary care in the future.

All the staff at Toronto Animal Services West want for Christmas is to see these two get a loving home in time for the holidays!

Daisy

Rudy 

Daisy and Rudy

The best way to check on the adoption status of Daisy and Rudy is to visit Toronto Animal Services adoption website or call (416) 338-6271 for the Toronto Animal Services West shelter. If they are no longer on the TAS adoption website, it's probably because they've been adopted already.



Tulip may be two years old but she is still very much like a puppy. Playful, squiggly and curious about the world. We all know what this little girl wants for Christmas so let's see if we can get it for her.




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.



Flora is a puppy mill rescue so she may be a little shy and under-socialized - she's trying really hard to come out of her shell - but basically she's a doll with big brown eyes looking for a person in whom she can place her love and trust. She's come a long way for a dog who's only ever known concrete floors, cage walls and ammonia laced air from the day she was born.




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.



It's been an emotional week for Kimberley Thomas of Kismutt Rescue (see here, here and here) and then last night she got a phone call:

You will not believe what happened tonight. I got a call from one of my mill owner's in Perth East Township. He kept me on the phone for 1.5 hours. He asked me to take his dogs.....all of them! I said, "Maynard, I can't take all your dogs". He told me he didn't want to fight anymore, that this was going to cost him too much money. He said if he has to bring his kennels up to standard then it will cost him too much money. He asked for my "opinion" on what he should do. I told him my honest opinion was to get out of the dog breeding business. He said if he does he will have to get a job off the farm. His voice cracked and it went silent. When he spoke again, I could tell he was crying.

I am sitting at the kitchen table dumbfounded, holding the phone. He told me he has an order in for 12 young breeding Yorkies coming in from Pennsylvania, and he wanted my opinion as to whether he should cancel his order. I said Maynard, if you are asking my honest opinion, I think it would be wise for you to get out of the dogs. My opinion is that the Townships are going to have no choice but to force their kennels to come up to standards of the Canadian Kennel Code and meet their own by-laws.

Then he says to me....."could you buy all the dogs I have in my kennel now and I will close down"? I said, "No Maynard, I cannot buy your dogs". His voice started cracking again and he said, "I have to make a decision what to do. I can't afford to bring my kennels up to standard, and I can't afford lawyers, and I can't afford to have the OSPCA come in and charge me or I will really be in trouble." I told him again, "then get out of the dogs".

It was a very very sad conversation. He spoke so quiet and meek. He cried. He almost made me cry. This whole thing is like an emotional roller coaster. He said to me, I want you to know something. He said, "I don't believe you are discriminating against me. You have helped me out with the dogs a lot over the years and I was happy to give them to you".

I told him, that he had to understand it from our perspective too. We take these dogs and we spend thousands and thousands of dollars on them to make them well enough to find them homes. We spend our life savings on these dogs that you have made a lot of money on. When you are done with these dogs, and they are spent, we pick up the tab to make them better, we spay them, we neuter them, we make them well. It costs you nothing. It costs us thousands and thousands of dollars every year.

I did not know this but on Nov. 20th his kennel was inspected with a SURPRISE visit. The ACO came with the by-law officer. They told Maynard he has to put in a whole new ceiling, new support system for the ceiling, 2 new walls, he had to clean up, all the dogs had to be groomed, and he had to strip everything out and disinfect.

This is unbelievable to me. All this is happening because of our pressure of emails to the township. This has NEVER happened before. Every single kennel is getting surprise inspections, and they told Maynard that at ANYTIME they will be doing surprise inspections ANYTIME of day and NO NOTICE. If they fail their inspections, the OSPCA will be called and they will lose their license. I am beyond floored.

It was a very emotional conversation, and he thanked me and told me him and his wife had to make a decision.I told him to let me know what he decides.

When I got off the phone with him, I cried. I cried because this has been such a long fight and it is finally coming to fruition, but I also cried because he cried, and he made me feel guilty.



Zeus, a very handsome German Shepherd Dog, came into Toronto Animal Services with a big lump on his shoulder which TAS had removed and checked out and he's been given the all clear. The lump was some kind of weird teratoma hair growth under the skin. Hope it didn't have any teeth or eyeballs when the vet pulled it out. Those things freak me out. Anyway, there's only some stitches remaining and that'll be mostly covered in fur soon enough.

Zeus is super intelligent and loyal and will pick up basic training quickly with the right instructions. It would be nice to see him out of the shelter quickly. Being cooped up and bored all day is not good for this guy.




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.



Kila, now Keihl. From her owners:

Hello! We adopted Keihl (Kila) last friday and wanted to let you guys know she's doing great! She and her sister Lula are getting along great! Keihl loves to cuddle with Lula, even if they're short on space haha!



I always kinda hate it when there are two dogs of similar breed up for adoption at the same time (the other one is Brunswick) cuz I just know at some point I'm going to be feeling sorry for the one left behind. But that's just me. That's just a human thing. The dog doesn't care. The dog just wants a 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.



Have to admit, Saturday wasn't a great day for photos. First Lily who was so shy of the camera and then Mr. P, a most handsome Jack Russell Terrier, who started shivering after five minutes of being outside in the cold December damp. Mr. P would like to winter with someone who'll be spending the next few months down south (as would I) but if not that, then a warm jacket please.




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.



Little Lily was definitely not a fan of my camera. She was in a constant battle with herself between coming close to me for pets but then backing up every time I raised the camera to my eye. Despite my out of focus shots, I think Lily's sweet comes through.




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.



Zack is squiggly, squirly pup who lurves everything and every one.

He'd had parvo for a while there and we weren't sure if he was going to make it. That day James was able to bring him out of quarantine wrapped in a blanket in order to weigh him, he was an exhausted little puppy but it also looked like he was going to pull through.

Now fully recovered from his physical illness, Zack needs someone to cure his lonely heart.





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.



Sometimes TAS gets a stray dog and has no idea about its history. Sometimes they get more of the story. Princess, an eleven year old Shih Tzu was brought into Dundas West Animal Hospital by a kindly stranger after she was hit by a car. The clinic checked her out (some scrapes and bruises), made sure she was okay, boarded her and then put her profile up on their Facebook page to see if anyone knew where she came from. Her owner showed up and decided not to take her back. DWAH announces on Facebook they are handing her over to TAS. Usual uninformed negative comments pop up about how TAS will automatically euthanize her, blah, blah, blah. Meanwhile, TAS arranges with DWAH to have her spayed and her teeth cleaned. And now she’s up for adoption. Thanks much to everyone at Dundas West Animal Hospital for keeping an eye on her.

What have I got to add? The best underbite ever.




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.



It's been a long exhausting road for Kimberly Thomas of Kismutt Rescue and as cliché as it may sound, when things were darkest, the light at the end of the tunnel appeared.

Just three months ago, Thomas seemed to be at the end of her rope in her fight against the puppy millers of Ontario located in the Wellesley township area after a local newspaper published Thomas' accusations against the millers and in retaliation, the millers stopped letting her pull their unwanted dogs. She knew what was going to happen to those unwanted dogs and it wasn't anything good and that weighed heavy on her.

She sounded frustrated, angry, distraught.

Perhaps as a last recourse, she called Toronto lawyer Clayton Ruby who has been an animal advocate extraordinaire all these years and, well, the article from yesterday's Ontario Farmer newspaper can explain the rest:

(Click on image below to enlarge.)



The article talks about the impact such charges, if upheld in court, could have on the lives of the puppy millers in question. It doesn't delve into the impact it will have on the dogs presently being produced by these particular millers nor the thousands of other dogs being bred by the puppy mill community in general, and for the most part, it downplays (as in it doesn't mention) the mistreatment these animals face.

Despite the obvious pro-puppy miller stance of the article, it does give the tiniest hint of the neglect, abuse and eploitation suffered by the dogs: because many of the puppy millers do not use electricity or do not want to pay for electricity, the warehouses in which the dogs are kept are unheated. Relatively speaking, there are about a handful of breeds which can endure a Canadian winter in an unheated building without being put into severe distress. The dogs we so often see coming out of these mills - Pugs, Sharpeis, miniature Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, etc. - are certainly not of these breeds. Having to survive through a Canadian winter in one of these warehouses is not much better than trying to survive in an unheated shed in someone's backyard.

The victims here aren't the puppy millers who have voluntarily chosen to profit from an atrocious business model. The victims here are the abused dogs and that's obvious but then I guess you'd only be holding that veiwpoint if you're just another irritating, heathen, animal welfare activist freak who can't mind yer own goddam business.

Well, good on ya.

Thanks so much to Kimberly Thomas of Kismutt Rescue for leading the fight and to all of you who sent letters and emails to the various town councils and animal welfare agencies pressuring them to act and to Clayton Ruby for keeping it all legal.





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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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