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(Continued from here.)

The next day, or maybe it was the day after, I started sifting through all the dog emails from CAACQ which were in the trash folder, still undeleted. Why? I don't know. Maybe because I didn't have enough nails lying around to jab into my eyes.

After looking through all the dog profiles, I decided to find out more about the SPCA de Val d'Or so I went online but couldn't find much information on them. They didn't have a website and most Google hits pointed to nondescript address listings.

There was this, though, from the Forum Canin Abitibi Temiscamingue:

The dog in the lower left corner, Rossy, Lab mix, looked like one of the dogs mentioned in one of the e-mails. I checked the date of the forum post. May 3, 2009. It couldn't be the same dog. What kind of a high kill shelter would keep an unadoptable dog around for two years?

I dug through my e-mails from CAACQ until I found the one I was looking for and this was the attachment:

Same photo. Same name. Same dog? Couldn't be. Maybe there was a mix-up. Maybe someone was just re-using old photos. When I brought this up with CAACQ, the intermediaries, they thought the same as I did. Probably a mix-up. It was highly unlikely that a place like SPCA de Val d'Or would keep a dog for that long. How could they have the resources?

Well, I guess we'll see, I thought. Rossy, or whoever it was, was one of the dogs picked to come to Toronto.

Later on that day, I got an e-mail from James telling me the dogs would arrive on Saturday.

I called him to confirm the time. Around 4:30.

And then he said, "Yeah, they're going to be driving that big truck for ten hours."

"Why a big truck?" I asked.

"Sixteen dogs," he said.

"You're bringing down all sixteen?"


Between all the TAS locations and various rescues, including Speaking of Dogs and Happy Tails, they managed to find placements for all the dogs.

5:30, Saturday afternoon, the truck arrived. The dogs inside started barking with excitement even before the trailer doors were opened. I'm not sure if there were exactly sixteen dogs - there may have been some confusion with the e-mail numbering - but the cargo area was packed. Eyes peered out of the shadows, nervous, curious, happy. Lots of panting, whimpering, barking and scratching at cage doors. Lots of tail wags. People, spilling out of the Marlies game, gathered around, wondered what was going on and came to their own conclusions.

Rossy was right up near the front and it was indeed Rossy, the same dog in the photos. His pale blue eyes incongruous with the reddish, shaggy coat, looked at me and then looked away as I took his picture. If he was nervous, he didn't show it. He sat there, patiently waiting for his turn to be taken out of his cage.

I didn't see the Berger Anglais so I got into the trailer and started looking into the crates. I was surprised by how many large dogs there were. The photos in the e-mails made them look smaller.

She was near the back. She was pacing her cage, excited. Much bigger than I had thought. Ninety pounds maybe? Certainly well fed. Clean. When I took her out to relieve herself, she ambled along, pulling a little but not bad. She definitely wasn't an Old English or a Beardie, more like a Doodle of some sort. Labradoodle, Golden Doodle, maybe even a Beardie Doodle. Who knows?

Over the next couple of days, the dogs were transferred to their respective locations. TAS South was keeping Rossy so I got to see her again. I was told the women who transported the dogs from SPCA de Val d'Or cried when they said goodbye to him. It must have been difficult to have to say goodbye to the dog who was saved out of the dozens or hundreds who were killed over the years. This was the dog they pinned their hopes on in a place of too much suffering and they finally succeeded in getting him out.

Here's a video from Carol at Happy Tails Rescue who took in Cheryl and Bosco, renamed Lana and Harley:

The Doodle has gone to Speaking of Dogs:

They asked me if I'd be willing to foster her but, after thinking about it for a night, I declined . Seriously not enough time and mostly I'm not ready yet.

But in a few weeks, who knows?

7 Comments to “The dogs from Val d'Or, Part 2”

  1. Biscuit says:

    Yay! So happy they're all safe.

    Rossy is beautiful, too.

  2. Unknown says:

    James..there are very few people in this world like are one of a kind man.....I think you are the bomb.....

  3. mel says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  4. Anonymous says:

    Whew.... It's almost 1 AM here, but I had to know....

  5. Monica says:

    How wonderful that they are all safe. Great work!

  6. mel says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  7. Anonymous says:

    I agree Mel! I try to talk up TAS South to anyone who is interested in adopting.

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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.