Here's an update from Emily who adopted a "crazy", backwards stair walking Lab from Toronto Animal Services South a few years back and turned the dog into a charmer. (Emily was also the person who found Maggie abandoned and dying at a park and brought her into TAS where her life was saved.)

We adopted our girl, Olivia, just over 4 years ago (she was about 3-4 years old at that time) from TAS South and what an adventure it has been! Originally assessed as 'not yet eligible for adoption' (to put it nicely!) on account of her being a totally unsocialized, beyond-hyperactive dog who had to be muzzled around other dogs, Olivia (aka Little Bear) came home as a foster pup though I failed miserably as a foster to this nutty-bar as she and my older canine man fell in love and we just had to have her as part of our family.

Olivia, being the crazy-face Lab that she is, keeps her older brother active and his arthritis at bay with long wrestling sessions and she easily makes friends with any and all children that visit our home - she LOVES LOVES LOVES children and is so incredibly gentle with them, believe it or not! She especially loves it when they drop food on the floor **sigh, that's a Lab, alright** We're happy to also be able to say that my husband and our canine kids are expecting our first 2-legged child in late August and I know that Olivia is going to be even MORE in heaven with a new play-mate and her own full-time food-dropper!

Olivia still has those abandoned-dog traits, to an extent, as she does not leave my side even 4 years later - she is my little shadow and the heartbeat at my feet. She never fails to crack us up into hysterics on account of her endless antics, is the first to the door as the official welcoming committee to all guests and takes her job as vehicle/back-seat ambassador at drive-through windows VERY seriously (the bank drive-through's still confuse her..."where's the FOOD?!?!?!?").

Despite her never-ending high energy, Olivia makes friends with anything that moves - piglets, hens, kittens, stray/feral cats, dogs, children, homeless tennis balls, stray branches etc... She LOVES to swim, go on hikes and chase her favourite, spongy choochie-ball in the park (granted, it took her one whole year to learn to DROP the ball so I could launch it again!).

I have attached just a few of the many crazy pics of this great girl - napping with her best buddy and brother, playing with a 1.5 pound foster kitten, retrieving her choochie-ball from the lake and, of course, keeping vigilant watch over the cakes in the kitchen (notice the serious expression? Food is SERIOUS business for this Lab)! We love her dearly and thank TAS South for accepting this less-than-desirable, riskier dog into their care as well as the original Pound Dogs blog, "One Bark At A Time" for showcasing this crazy love-bug. We can't imagine what our family and days would be like without her and look forward to many more years with our Little Bear.







When this raggedy Shih Tzu first arrived at the shelter from a puppy mill, she was an extremely frightened little girl.



It took someone quite special to bring this one home.

We brought Chryssy home on February 6th, a five year old little girl who had known life only in a puppy mill. She immediately attached to Georgie, our elderly Chihuahua, taking her place in his comfy bed. From being a very passive little person, Chryssy now shows her hidden self at times, by responding to her name (she never had one before) and hanging out with the cats, and getting excited when her food is set out. She accepted her first "treat" yesterday.



Blaze, a skinny little Beagle, is a real charmer. He was adopted at the TAS/Adopt-a-thon along with nine or ten other dogs from TAS South, East and West by some wonderful families, some who lined up even before the store opened on Saturday. Now that's dedication.




So that's the good news.

The bad news is that some people went home empty handed and that's unfortunate. The popularity of this event has kinda caught every one off guard and I hear some people in line weren't happy about the way it was organized. It's hard, though, because TAS staff absolutely have to meet the adoptive families in person before any dog can be adopted out to them and obviously the family will want to meet the dog. We don't want to discourage people from coming out in case the first few meet and greets don't work out but at the same time, making people wait around only to be disappointed is no fun either.

Right now, I can only remind people that while these events spotlight a very select group of dogs, there are plenty of other dogs waiting for homes at the Toronto Humane Society and other local rescues.

Thanks for all your support.



Kingston is a young German Shepherd mix who is all about having fun ... with me, with the staff, with the other dogs walking by, with the guys on the way to their hockey game, with the kids on the sidewalk, with the couple who were lost and had stopped to ask for directions.





Kingston will be available through regular adoptions at Toronto Animal Services South. Visit Toronto Animal Services adoption website or call 416 338 6668 for the Toronto Animal Services South shelter. If Kingston is no longer on the TAS adoption website, it's probably because he's been adopted already.



This is Maggie, a small German Shepherd mix. She's the fourth Georgia dog rescued and transported up from a high kill Georgia pound with funding and coordination provided by Ashley Hyslop and Paws for Hope and Faith.

Please meet adorable Maggie. Don’t let the photos fool you on her size – soaking wet at most she weighs 25 pounds. Maggie is a snuggle bug. She loves attention and showing you how much she loves you. She is very outgoing and loving. If you let her – she will nap on your lap all afternoon.

Sadly, Maggie was picked up as a stray in Southern Georgia and once her owners were located they surrendered her to a high kill shelter because they decided they didn’t want a dog anymore and disposed her as if she was garbage. Maggie doesn’t hold any grudges though. She is more than happy being in Toronto and is so excited to find her happy ending! Maggie would fit in with any household!



Maggie will be available at this weekend's Toronto Animal Services/Petsmart Adopt-a-thon - 835 Eglinton Ave East, 416 696 0388, Saturday Feb 23rd and Sunday 24th starting at 10am.



I'm not sure how accurate that mix description is but Ellie does have a puppy Great Dane face even if she's only about one tenth the size of a Great Dane. She's the third Georgia dog rescued and transported up from a high kill Georgia pound with funding and coordination provided by Ashley Hyslop and Paws for Hope and Faith.

Please meet sweet Ellie. Ellie loves to give puppy snuggles and kisses. Although she looks like a puppy and is cuddly like a puppy she is thought to be fully grown. She was found as a stray in southern Georgia and was never claimed. Her time was up and thankfully she was rescued at the last moment.

Ellie is a little shy but once you show her any kind of love she will give you her whole heart! Ellie is great with people and other dogs – she has yet to be tested with cats. However, Ellie doesn’t have a mean bone in her body so there most likely wouldn’t be any issues.





Ellie will be available at this weekend's Toronto Animal Services/Petsmart Adopt-a-thon - 835 Eglinton Ave East, 416 696 0388, Saturday Feb 23rd and Sunday 24th starting at 10am.



Dinah is the second of the four dogs rescued and transported up from a high kill Georgia pound with funding and coordination provided by Ashley Hyslop and Paws for Hope and Faith.

Please meet beautiful Dinah!






Dinah is a young and very sweet yellow lab mix who comes with a sad story. At approximately two months of age, Dinah and her brother were found locked in a storage unit in Southern Georgia and had almost starved to death. She was under 7 pounds.

Dinah was brought to a high kill shelter. Unfortunately, because there are so many Labs and Lab mixes in the southern States she must not have stood out and was overlooked. Dinah's time was about to run out when she was rescued and transported to Toronto Animal Services.

Dinah is SO happy to be Canadian now and has heard that Canadian's love their Yellow Lab mutts's and is sooo hoping to find the happy ending that was promised to her. Dinah is very sweet and playful. She loves giving kisses and going for long walks.


Here's Dinah snow wrestling with George:



Dinah will be available at this weekend's Toronto Animal Services/Petsmart Adopt-a-thon - 835 Eglinton Ave East, 416 696 0388, Saturday Feb 23rd and Sunday 24th starting at 10am.



Toronto Animal Services is once again sponsoring four dogs from Georgia to help them get adopted out at this weekend's Petsmart Adopt-a-thon (835 Eglinton Ave East, 416 696 0388, Saturday Feb 23rd and Sunday 24th starting at 10am). This rescue/transport was organized by the wonderful Ashley Hyslop with Paws for Hope and Faith providing all the support in Georgia.

Here's the first of the four.

Please meet handsome George! He can't get enough of the Toronto snow.





George was found as a stray with a bunch of puppies he fathered in Southern Georgia! They were brought to a high kill shelter and although the puppies got scooped up almost immediately, George sat in his concrete cage for months hoping someone would come to adopt him. His time was running up and the fact that he is mainly black didn't help - he didn't have much of a chance in Georgia!

Thanks to Toronto Animal Services for giving George his chance at finding a happy ending - George is ready to find his forever home. George is a big teddy bear with gorgeous curls! He is thought to be a Great Pyrenees mix and about 1 - 2 years of age. He loves everyone and is very laid back! He is a gentleman and only wants to stay by your side on walks. Please come visit George at the Petsmart Leaside Adopt-a-thon on Feb 23rd/24th.

Anyone who meets George can't help but fall in love with him!



A pic from the owner of Panda, now Lola:


Too bad a photo can't capture her loud snoring!!



Even though Dallas is an exceptionally good looking dog, he really doesn't like getting his photo taken.

At first he approaches me to say hello with no qualms.


I say hello, rub his chest, scratch his ears and when I think all is good, I pull out my camera and snap a couple of shots but when Dallas hears the click of the camera, he immediately shies away.

It takes about fifteen minutes and lots of treats and pets before he trusts me with the camera.

A very handsome boy indeed.

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.



Simone is watching me dig out my car from the second floor window. We'd just come back from her walk in the morning sunshine, walking through the white blanket of last night's heavy snowfall. The last few times I shoveled snow, I kept her outside with me but she just sat by the door and gave me her "Why are you making me suffer out here?" look. This time I let her inside.

A woman in her sixties walks up to me with her German Shepherd.

"You know you're not allowed to do that," she says to me.

"What?" I say.

"You're not allowed to throw snow on the road," she says.

"The snow is already on the road," I say, which is true. The snow is already on the road. My car is parked on the street. I'm digging out the wheels and the piled up snow around the car so that another car can park there when I leave without having to ram through a two foot high snowbank. I'm not doing this for purely selfless reasons. I'm clearing the space because parking is a premium in this fairly dense Toronto neighbourhood and I figure the more accessible spaces, the better it is for everyone, including myself.

"You have to put that snow on your property," she says.

I look at her. Her face is pinched. She's looking for an argument. I look at her dog. Her dog looks bored. It starts sniffing around. It's been through this before.

"You must be really busy complaining this morning," I say. "Every one up and down the street is digging themselves out doing exactly the same thing."

On our walk, Simone and I passed at least a dozen people digging out their cars parked on the street. They were all just moving the snow onto the road because there's no where else to move it. It's not like everyone is parked conveniently in front of their own front yards and people aren't going to be shoveling snow from the road and putting it onto someone else's property. So, the snow gets pushed around as best as people can manage. It's not as if there are any other options.

"You complaining to every one about what they're doing? Or just me?" I ask the woman. Maybe I'm looking for an argument as well. It's been a somewhat shitty week.

"I've been living here for thirty-five years so that gives me the right," she says.

"The right to what?" I ask.

"I can call the city on you," she says. "A neighbour once shoveled snow onto the road and I told him he wasn't allowed to do that but he didn't care about the roads because he didn't have a car but then the city came by and made him shovel it back." She smiles at the memory of it.  Or at least the pretend memory of it.

"If he didn't have a car, then why was he shoveling?" I ask.

"He was shoveling snow from his property onto the road," she says. "The city made him shovel it back."

"I'm not shoveling snow from my property onto the road," I say. "The snow is already on the road. I'm also not causing an obstruction on the road. I'm removing one."

The woman looks at me, angry at my insubordination. She tries a different tack.

"People don't know how to park anymore. They all take up too much space, park too far apart so there's not enough parking. We used to understand how to park. Now ... it hasn't always been like this," she says.

"Really?" I say.

"Yeah, it started in the last few years. I've noticed this.  When the original people in the neighbourhood started to move out and the new people started moving in," she says.

"What new people?" and I'm pretty sure she's going to say "immigrants".

She pauses, then she says, "Young people."

I try not to laugh. There's one of these in every neighbourhood, I'm beginning to realize. Someone who hates the world.

"Yeah, young people are terrible," I say, uncertain if she means to include me in her disparaging remark against the vast majority of her neighbours. "The things people have to put up with from young people. The way they park. Their attitude. So, uh, you hate young people of a certain age range or just anyone younger than yourself?"

She walks away. She's fuming, I'm sure and she's muttering something about how she's just telling it like it is. The German Shepherd walks submissively behind her along the sidewalk which a neighbour, probably a young person, hasn't bothered to shovel.



There's some once in a decade snowstorm going on outside so maybe don't come down to Toronto Animal Services South today but if you're looking for the sweetest German Shepherd mix ever, that would be Timber and I have a feeling the first person who comes by to meet him is going to adopt him.

On our walk last week, every so often he would just stop, sidle up beside me and give me this look:


Where do dogs learn to do this? Is there some secret dog school somewhere where they hand out degrees in adorableness?

And if his look isn't charming enough, Timber's also got some fuzzy whiskers under his chin.


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.



One more previously adopted: Panda, a French Bulldog. The couple brought in their baby and Panda got along with the child and the child got along with Panda. Easy peasy.




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.



Emma's a short Dachshund mix who's got her winter pudge on. You kinda want to pick her up and squeeze her and make "pffth pffth" noises while you're doing it.



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.



Harriet put up a brave front but after ten minutes outside on the not terribly cold sunny Sunday afternoon, even her eyeballs were shivering. No problem since she apparently likes being carried so I picked her up and put her under my coat and took her back inside. That's when I realized I'd succumbed to small dog owner syndrome and now I feel an urge to go shopping for a rhinestone dog bag.




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.



If you want this Puggle pup who makes funny warbling noises when she wants attention, I suggest you run to the shelter.



This is what happens the first time Tina has a chewy dried sweet potato snack


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.



Lots of photos from the owners of Foxy, now Maya:


We wanted to follow up with you, since it's exactly two months today since we adopted Maya.

Maya has been doing great! Everyone, from the vet to the groomer, marvels at her temperament. They are even more surprised when they discover that she is a rescue from a pretty abusive environment.

She has been fitting in very nicely. She recognizes her name, and some instructions ("come" and "sit"). She loves going for walks, and she loves playing with other dogs (though she definitely isn't too fond of cats, as we've discovered).

She has really opened up over the last two months. She is very affectionate, and loves bouncing along next to us wherever we go.

We love her, and can't imagine our lives without her! We are so thankful to you and to Toronto Animal Services for bringing her into our lives. We are attaching a few pictures of Maya, taken over the last few months.







 





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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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