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In case anyone hasn't seen this yet, there's an excellent article by Linda Diebel in The Toronto Star called Ernest’s big adventure on the underground railroad for dogs. It's about a lovely Lab named Ernest and how he got to be saved from death by gunshot and brought to Toronto Animal Services South. It gives an indication of the amount of effort put in by many good people to get a dog rescued.

It's kind of funny that Toronto Animal Services South is now a well regarded dog shelter especially since only a few years ago they were considered by most people in the rescue community to be just another typical city dog pound where unwanted dogs were unceremoniously deposited and euthanized.

The change has been almost like night and day. Nearly 400 dogs, over 1000 cats and almost 300 small animals were adopted out to new homes from TAS-S last year. The vast majority of those were direct adoptions through the facility but TAS-S also works closely with several rescues in the city and, as the Star article describes, rescues in other jurisdictions.

It goes to show how much affect a few dedicated individuals can have on an institution, transforming it from a place of general misery to a place where hope is given to so many.

3 Comments to “Star article on Toronto Animal Services South”

  1. Joanne says:

    That change at TAS is nothing short of amazing. The staff there are great and Jen and James are two wonderful people. I have gotten two animals from TAS who are the best in the world. Loving and well-behaved members of my family. I also suggested to other people that they get their pets at TAS and they have been thrilled with their choices. Funny, I had the same impression of TAS but it is a clean, caring facility that could have taught THS at its worst a few things. I remember once going into THS and the dog area was swarming with little gnats. I couldn't believe that a rescue facility was in that condition. Kudos to James especially, he has made stunning changes at TAS and the rest of the staff also. Also thanks for Ming and MeiMei.

  2. Finally, the good City of Toronto has realized there is a animal crisis. The situation is very slowly moving from hopelessness to hope. I have been waiting for this epiphany for a long time. Now if only animal protection laws were stronger... owners need to be severely punished for animal abuse/neglect.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Excellent article. It's good to see Jaimie getting some credit for his incredible work. He's made so much difference to so many.

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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.