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Cone's owner had been disciplining him by beating him and then when the man saw all the blood on his dog and all the blood all over his house, he decided he'd better rinse the dog down to make it less obvious. Then the man, not wanting a soaking dog running around getting his furniture wet, put Cone outside into the freezing cold.

A neighbour saw the dog outside, trembling, near hypothermia, and called the police. The police arrived, saw the abuse that was going on and contacted Toronto Animal Services and by the time Cone was brought into TAS, he was covered in blood again from his open wounds. His whole head was oddly swollen. His muzzle was raw and bloody. There was a soft spongy mass on the back of his neck near the base of his skull. And when he urinated, there was a stream of red. These were the obvious injuries.

The vet examined Cone and determined the mass behind his neck to be an air pocket, likely air leaking from a punctured trachea from the beating he had received. Full x-rays would have to be done to determine if the man caused any other injuries to his dog and what, if anything, could be done about them.

I look into Cone's sky blue eyes and I don't see any fear or hatred. He is not broken or cowering like most people would be after such an experience. In his manner, he is still looking for human acceptance and friendship, something he has probably never known but senses is out there - such is the faith of a dog.

There are no doubt many monsters who walk amongst us disguised as humans. I used to think that maybe it would be possible to teach the heartless how to have a heart but I'm not so sure anymore. I think the monsters only gain self-fulfillment through the suffering of others. They constantly reinforce their own desire for another's pain. They feel strong, they feel potent only when they make others weak.

I am angered by this, no doubt, but in our law abiding society, I must swallow my anger. The people who know about what happened to Cone console themselves by saying that what goes around comes around and while there might be a fleeting satisfaction in visualizing someone kicking Cone's owner until his internal organs burst and he starts pissing blood, that would do nothing for Cone or the multitude of other abuse victims out there, both human and animal. In fact, that might just make things worse. A terrible thing about monsters is that they so easily spread their contagion and they fill us with hate until hate pushes out empathy and we become monsters as well. I feel that struggle within me all the time and I'm not always sure which side will win.

Cone is safe now, as safe as any homeless dog can be. When he gets back from the vet, there will be a warm bed and food waiting for him at TAS-South and while a home in a cage is not ideal, it will hopefully only be a temporary one. Let's hope this new year will be a happier one for Cone.

For adoption information on these and other dogs (and cats and other animals), please visit Toronto Animal Services.

11 Comments to “Cone - mutt”

  1. Ian says:

    He`s got beautiful eyes.
    I hope he finds someone who will love him when he`s physically healed.
    That`s one update I`m anxious to see.
    I hope the person who did this to him was charged.

  2. Amy says:

    This makes me so sad. I am thankful for Cone that his neighbors saw what was going on and called the police. How many other abused dogs are suffering because no one knows what is happening, or those that know turn a blind eye? For now, Cone is safe. I hope that 2011 brings him the kind, loving home that he deserves.

  3. What a sad story. I hope cone finds a good home and loving family soon. It's wonderful that he doesnt seem to bear a grudge and that he's being looked after meantime. And you know what? I AM pissed as hell by the -@!666@! who treated cone so badly and hope that karma catches up to him.

  4. Fred says:

    Hi Ian, no the owner was not charged. It's nearly impossible to make animal cruelty charges stick in Ontario. A court proceeding would also mean that Cone would have to stay in custody as evidence and that might take months if not years.

  5. Erin says:

    I would like to take him in my arms and tell him that he will be safe from here on out. If I could give him a home, I would in a heartbeat. I will never understand why people choose to have a pet and then abuse them, never.

  6. DOG BLOG says:

    Hi Fred; I had a dog in rescue that was seized from an abusive situation. In her case it was a vengeful drunken about to be ex-boyfriend who took his rage out on the poor dog with an axe and a poker as the owner was coming to get her. The only witness was his brother who helped him and his 3 year old son, who came running outside to tell the woman and her daughter that "my daddy just killed your dog". The key is that the owner surrendered all claim to the dog (she was essentially homeless at that point and was negotiating to surrender the dog to SOBCR when the assault occurred and the OSPCA took custody. I had to repay the OSPCA their Vet costs to complete the surrender). I kept the dog and did a lot of follow-up nursing until she was well healed, then did adopt her out, and when the case was getting to trial, the OPP contacted me and I arranged for them to work with the adopter to get what they needed so the "chain of evidence" was preserved. Rescue deals with that in Puppy Mill busts, sometimes the dogs are disbursed to various rescues to place in foster homes but they cannot be adopted until the Court releases them.

    Given the acute injuries inflicted on poor Cone, I don't see why charges are not laid, even if the worse cannot be proved. Someone who is that vicious by nature will likely do it again. No animal should be in this person's care, and next time it may be a child. That is the attitude the authorities should be taking, and prosecuting this sick person so there is a record of it!

    Thank you Fred for reporting on this.


  7. Ian says:

    That seems a little crazy.Well at least he`s safe now.
    Hope the abuser doesn`t have young children because if you can`t control your rage with animals I don`t imagine you can control it with young children either.
    And yes good for that neighbor who called for help for this poor little guy.

  8. Biscuit says:

    Poor Cone. What a nice face he has!

    I hope he finds a wonderful home soon, and that you hear back.

  9. Nancy says:

    any update on Cone?

  10. Fred says:

    Hi Nancy, thanks for asking. Cone has come back from the vet and is doing well. The various swellings have gone down and his surface wounds have mostly healed. His spirits are also much better than the first time I saw him. He'll be going in for another health check and if all is well, he'll be put up for adoption soon.

  11. Nancy says:

    Wonderful news! He looks like an old soul , I'm glad he's recovered so well and can find a new home soon. :)

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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.