I could have called this blog "Found Dogs" because that is indeed what has happened. The dogs here have all been abandoned by their owners at some point in their lives but have found their way, through luck or benevolence, into the adoption program at Toronto Animal Services South.

I've been photographing the dogs at TAS-S for a few years now and the vast majority of them are great dogs and have since become beloved pets in people's homes. They are full of personality, grace, loyalty - all the usual things people would expect in a dog. The only thing the dogs were missing were good homes.

Old, young, purebred, mixed, "designer", TAS-S gets them all. They come from varied backgrounds. Some are rescued from puppy mills, some are from homes where their owners died or are in jail, some are taken from hoarders or other animal abusers, many are from people who just one day decided their dogs no longer fit in with their lifestyles. Every dog that ends up at TAS-S, or any shelter for that matter, has been through some kind of turmoil but dogs are incredibly resilient. Some dogs, despite their past experiences, will still bond with their new owners immediately while other may take a few days or weeks, but once adopted they all have the potential to become what they yearn for: to be part of someone's family again.

"Pound Dogs" is a mostly visual record of some of the dogs who pass through TAS-S starting from about July 2010 and on. The most up-to-date list for dogs, cats and small domestics available for adoption at TAS can be found here. I used to write another blog called "One Bark at a Time" where you can find photos of TAS dogs from between June 2008 - July 2010.

A note about the names: most of the dogs who go through TAS-S have names or are given names. Sometimes, though, I might take a dog's photograph before a staffer names the dog and unless I catch it later and insert the new name, you'll see posts where the dog remains "unnamed".

If you want to send me an e-mail, I can be reached at iwantapounddog @ gmail . com.
You can also friend me at https://www.facebook.com/onebarkatatime or like the Pound Dogs page at https://www.facebook.com/iwantapounddog. I'm also on twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/iwantapounddog.





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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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