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It looks like all five of the Toronto Humane Society board endorsed candidates will be filling the five vacant board seats. Tim Trow and his pals have been given the cold shoulder by the membership.

Congratulations to Crystal Tomusiak, Lisa Gibbens, Carol Hroncek, Ken Wood and David Bronskill (you can read their bios here).

I wish them much success and I hope they all work their asses off for the animals at the THS - and knowing what I know about most of them, I'm sure they will.

From The Star, Former Toronto Humane Society president fails to win board.

From The National Post, Tim Trow loses bid to return as Humane Society board.

From The Globe and Mail, Former president fails in bid to regain control over humane society .

Animal welfare is full of grey areas. There is no generally accepted rule book for how one should go about doing animal welfare. There's really no rule book at all and because of that the world of animal welfare is full of conflict between individuals and organizations who think they've got it right and others who the first group think have got it wrong.

A successful animal welfare organization is one which can work through its own internal disagreements to come up with a common philosophy and strategy which allows the members of the organization to remain cohesive and work efficiently together for the benefit of the animals. Whether the organization decides to be low kill or no kill, to be a shelter or a sanctuary, to have open admissions or selective admissions, the people within that organization must be comfortable with those decisions and be willing to work to achieve those aims. Everyone, or at least the majority of the members, must buy in to what the organization believes in and how the organization goes about achieving those goals.

Externally, an animal welfare organization must engender trust and acceptance from the public at large. Animal welfare only exists because people are willing to help. Animals' lives are saved by people who adopt, people who foster, people who transport, train, nurture. Animal lives are saved through extensive networks and positive experiences. To cut off ties with other concerned animal welfare groups, to look with disdain upon the public and to treat them with disrespect is to severely limit the outcomes for the animals under one's roof because there will obviously be less avenues for the animals to find homes.

Any leader of the Toronto Humane Society must understand animal welfare, what works, what doesn't, the ethics, the strategies, the science, but first and foremost that person must be able to motivate and encourage dedicated and well trained staff and volunteers while also nurturing a progressively expanding public following. You need a people person, not just an animal person, to run an animal welfare agency well.

I don't personally know anyone who would ever accuse Tim Trow of being a people person. Whatever his personal philosophy with regards to animal welfare may be, it seemed pretty apparent that the Toronto Humane Society under his watch was full of internal strife and external isolation and animosity. Employees and volunteers disliked him and his animal care standards so much they were willing to testify against him in court on charges of animal cruelty, they organized demonstrations against him, they openly criticized him despite the threat of lawsuits from THS lawyers.

The THS' public persona under Trow was no better. There would be constant media assaults from Trow against Toronto Animal Services which amounted to little more than highly biased propaganda pieces. There was constant bickering between the THS and the OSPCA - and of course it was the OSPCA which finally lead the raid on the THS resulting in the arrest of Trow and his gang. And almost none of the smaller rescues in Toronto would have anything to do with the THS. Under Trow, the THS was pretty much an island, or perhaps more like a pariah, unto itself. While Trow and his media department may have gotten some kind of cheap ego boost from their spiteful sense of self-righteousness every time they attacked another animal welfare agency, they were just reinforcing the stereotype that all of us in animal welfare are just a bunch of bickering, angry, animal rights nutjobs.

After Trow was escorted off the premises of the Toronto Humane Society, a new board was elected to the THS and for the past few months they have been trying to undo the harm caused by the previous regime. It's been less than a year so things are still imperfect, but everything I hear seems to indicate that the majority of the staff and volunteers at the THS are much happier than they have ever been under Trow. The adopting public is welcomed, not gazed upon with suspicion. The animals are kept healthy in their cages and behavioural problems are addressed or at least acknowledged.

The THS is also no longer an island. They have created healthy relationships with other rescues and have started working with Toronto Animal Services. The squabbling with the OSPCA has even stopped, at least publicly. The THS has done a complete 180 and are now trying to be a part of the wider animal welfare community, not just for the sake of being accepted but in order to save the lives of more animals.

There is still much that needs to be done at the THS. I don't think anyone would say that all its problems are solved. Funding levels are still not great, but they are improving. Membership numbers could be higher. The public trust of the THS is still fragile but gradually solidifying. Most everyone in the animal welfare community celebrated the eviction of Trow even as they welcomed the new THS. The THS had seen some dark days as the dystopian outcast but there was hope that those days would be over.

Now, however, the threat of a return to those days is looming. Tonight, the THS will be holding its annual general meeting where five of fifteen board seats will be up for election. Not only has Tim Trow assembled a group of his friends to try to take those five seats but he wants to go even further than that. With only five seats, Trow does not command a majority so he knows he's obviously not always going to be able to get his way. He's attempting, then, to not only win those five seats but he also wants to oust the president, the vice president and the chair, whose positions are not up for re-election, in order to gain a majority. Tim Trow is trying to get the THS back under his thumb.

If Trow had been convicted on the charges of animal cruelty then as per the Society's regulations, he would not be allowed to run for the board. Those charges, however, were dropped, not because the massive amount of testimony against him was proven unreliable in court, but because the evidence was improperly gathered.

Trow claims he only wants to put the animals first. If he really wanted that, he'd stay away from the THS. It would be a shame to see the Toronto Humane Society once again ruined by the super-sized egos of selfish men but the only way they will get in is if the membership of the THS votes them in. If that happens, and Trow and his gang are allowed to force the THS back into the dark, then no one should be surprised when we again start hearing from shocked and disgusted employees and volunteers about overcrowded animals dying in their cages.

This last Labradoodle pup doesn't look anything like his four siblings. I'm wondering if he just decided to wander in and join the doodle party. He's also more insistent upon attention than the other four, begging me to pet him and play with him the whole time we were walking. The person who adopts this one will either have an abundance of affection to give or else have a readily available ignore button. Very adorable but demanding.

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

From Cathrine in Bangladesh:

Shaheb came by this morning, on his way home. It is appalling that he is still thin and feeble after one month of love, medication and large, excellent meals out at Ali's place. His paws are still tender when he walks, and they may be permanently deformed. His coat is growing in, but there are areas that might never see fur again.

It says something wonderful that Jagu-uncle wants him, despite his battered appearance. When he arrived at the factory later, every person in the place crowded around to admire him, stroke him, and coo over him. He sat there soaking it up, a big doggy smile on his face.

Imagine what they'll think when he finally fills out and gets all his fur back!

Shaheb is now the Head and sole member of Canine Security at Jagu-uncle's factory outside Dhaka. Jagu-uncle is a distant relative of Rubhaya's. Like Rubhaya, he is a lover and protector of animals. He was not the first person to express interest in the fancy bideshi dog : he was the first person who did not care that Shaheb was a fancy bideshi dog. That was what we were looking for.

So Shaheb now has a large compound to patrol with the guards, who already think he is seriously cool. He has a roomy, shaded kennel for when the gates are open, and will have free run when they are shut, and at night.

But most important to him, he has people who genuinely care about him, however he looks, and are glad to rub his ears and feed him his huge helpings of rice, vegetables and offal.

But there is even more! We are going back to Canada soon. Rob's replacement asked me to find a deshi dog for him/her. S/he wanted a puppy, so the bond would be strong and early. Yesterday, I found the puppy.

Tomoko is another automobile orphan, only six weeks old, rescued by a British woman and her Swiss friend. She is really small -- I doubt she will be more than 8 kilos at full growth. Her brothers and sisters found homes quickly, but she was less attractive because of her size and a bone spur on a back leg. She is also a sweet natured, happy and ultra-cuddly little girl who likes nothing so much as taking a break from her hyperactive puppy explorations to fall asleep in someone's arms.

On Saturday, Tomoko takes Shaheb's place out at Ali's Ark, where his own two females will teach her the art of being a really good dog and not pooping in the nest. When the replacement comes, in September, Tomoko should be young enough for that strong bond, but well-enough socialised that she can be trained by the staff here in the finer points of house living and canine diplomacy.

addendum (May 26, 2011): Yesterday, the guys at the factory taught Shaheb to shake hands. He shook hands with all 25 of them.

Another wet dog. Dried, he looks just like either of the first two Labradoodle pups.

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

Suddenly it started raining and I ended up with two soaking wet Labradoodle pups. Here's the first wet dog. I like the texture of their damp hair but I'll probably have to redo their photos for general public consumption on a dry day.

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

"Today, by contrast, many pet dogs live in circumscribed, urban environments and are expected to be simultaneously better behaved than the average human child and as self-reliant as adults." - Bradshaw, excerpt from "Dog Sense"

From Shera's new owners:

What a happy active dog she turned out to be. We expected she would come out of her shell over time. We did not expect that the process would only take a couple oh hours. She has been running around our yard like she had never rum before. She sleeps on her bed but we have to kick her off ours first. She loves! her ball. She is like a collie at chasing and catching the ball. But she also tosses it herself with a flick of her head. And she will bring the ball back.

It is clear she is a people person. She shadows us around the house.

She can also open her crate! We locked the crate this morning with cable clamps to keep the latch down and locked. She broke both clamps and met me at the door at noon. Nothing busted or chewed in the house though. She is snoring on the couch not watching tv!

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

Fostering is new to me and I'm wading into it slowly. This first one, with Keaton, is only going to be for two weeks until he gets his appointment with the vet to have some oddly growing extra teeth removed after which he'll be put into general adoption at Toronto Animal Services South.

When we show up at Toronto Animal Services with Smitten, I've forgotten how young Keaton is. I'd gotten it into my head that Keaton was an adult male black German Shepherd but I find out quickly enough that he's only a juvenile at eight months. He was brought into a vet clinic by his previous owner for a neuter and vacs and then the owner never returned for him, deciding she didn't want him after all. The clinic hung onto him for four weeks to see if they could find someone to adopt him but there were no takers and so he ended up at TAS-S healthy, snipped and ready to go into adoption - until his extra teeth were found. Then it was decided that the teeth had to be extracted before he would be placed in a new home.

When I bring him outside to meet Smitty, she sniffs him then gives him a you've-got-to-be-kidding look and turns away.

I take him to the dog park where he's carefully introduced one at a time to the half dozen dogs there. He's a bit anxious, some hackling, but then quickly relaxes and does some social sniffing. I get the sense he hasn't met a lot of other dogs so I'm going to try to do a good amount of socializing with him over the time he's with me. He doesn't end up playing with them much but maybe that's because it's all a bit too overwhelming for him.

We leave the park and on the drive back to my house, Smitten growls at Keaton a couple times when he gets too close to her.

Back at home, Smitten is still not terribly impressed with the intruder. There are a couple of minor incidences and that's enough for Keaton to know that she doesn't want him to bother her. Keaton makes more of an effort to stay out of her face for a while. Again, a good indication that he's reading her signals appropriately.

I haven't taken care of a pup in a very long time. Keaton can't seem to settle. I know he's tired but it seems he only ever lies down for a few minutes then gets excited about something and has to go exploring. I follow him around the house off and on for the afternoon and he doesn't do anything that needs correcting.

The few times I don't follow him around, though, he

1. collects socks to chew on.
2. empties the garbage can.
3. eats half a bag of buns which were on the counter.
4. pees on the carpet going up the stairs, the only carpet nailed down in the house. (Each time I've brought a new dog home, there's been a moment when I ask myself, Why did I sign up for this?, and this was definitely the moment)

Being a pup, Keaton likes to test his boundaries. He soon realizes that even though Smitten growls a fierce growl, she doesn't back it up with anything harsher so he starts to bug her again. He picks up her ball and waves it in her face. He runs by her and bumps her as he passes by. He walks up to her and mouths her jowls. He basically makes a nuisance of himself around her, trying to get her to play. I think this is going to end badly because she's obviously losing patience with him. But then something clicks.

They tussle over the ball and then with each other and then they're off. They run full tilt through the living room, the dining room, the kitchen, the back addition, out the door to the patio. Smitten leaps off the edge of the patio down the five steps and lands and keeps running. Keaton, a half stride behind her, copies her and leaps off the patio as well and lands but his front legs give out on landing and he does a faceplant but it doesn't stop him and he recovers and chases Smitten to the end of the backyard where they tussle for a moment and then run back the way they came. I'm half thinking I should stop them for the preservation of the house but what fun would that be? So, they riproar back and forth through the length of the house and the long backyard five or six times before they suddenly realize they're tired and stop for a drink and some panting.

I'll let you know if we all survive the two weeks.

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

Five Labradoodle puppies came into Toronto Animal Services on the weekend. They were from a breeder who for some reason decided he didn't want them anymore and while it's irresponsible to breed dogs for profit only to dump them, at least these pups are plump, healthy and, for the most part, happy - a change from the puppy mill pups we see too often.

Four of these pups, I can't tell apart other than by the colour of their collars. The fifth one, who might be the runt (I use that term in the nicest way possible because, frankly, the fifth is adorable), looks like he's from another set of parents. There are too many pictures for me to all get processed for one post, so I'll do one puppy a day. This will be Labradoodle puppy week then.

Here's the first. This one is a very stable pup, mature for his age but very sociable with both dogs and people. I suspect this one will be snatched up immediately. For the person who wants a Labradoodle, someone is going to be spectacularly lucky.

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

This Rottweiler sees me, immediately starts butt wagging. I walk closer and its whole body starts wagging, swaying back and forth. I open its kennel door, crouch down to snap the leash on its collar and I get a wet nose planted onto my cheek. She's about to come in for another but I push her off and stand up. She rolls on her back, butt still wagging, looks up at me for a belly rub.

Later, I find out she's an owner surrender. In her profile, he says she is food aggressive but maybe his English wasn't so good. I bring out a snack. She smells it, sees it. No freezing, no anxiety. Continued good spirits. I move the snack towards her so that it's within reach. She doesn't even pay attention to it. I put it under her nose, offer it to her. She sniffs it, tentatively takes it, spits it out.

I try with a higher value snack: dried liver. Same behaviour from her. No freezing, no anxiety. Continued good spirits. This time she takes the snack, munches on it and eats it but it isn't a big deal. It's almost like she ate it only because she thought I wanted her to eat it, so she could get more belly rubs.

She doesn't seem food aggressive to me but she hasn't been in the shelter very long. It's a new environment. Dogs, like people, can behave differently in new environments. Someone will have to properly assess her once she's more settled in.

Fingers crossed that it was indeed a bad case of broken English.

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

This lovely black Labrador Retriever was adopted out last week.

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

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

Patou, who we're told is a Golden Retriever even though he looks like he might be part Chow Chow, greets me with his dog bowl in his mouth. He wants to take it with him for his walk. I suggest to him that it might not be such a great idea and give him a plush football instead which he happily takes.

He gently carries it with him for the whole walk, dropping it only once. When I get him to stop for photographs, he discovers that the football squeaks. Suddenly, he's down on his belly ripping into the thing, pulling out the stuffing and releasing it to the wind. I spend 5 minutes chasing fluff, trying to contain the mess. Patou finally gets to the squeaker, pulls it out and, afraid that he might swallow it, I grab it out of his mouth. He looks at me like I've just ruined his day. So, instead of throwing it out, I squeak it a few times, feed him some snacks and he's happy again.

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

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

Someone fell for Beau pretty much the instant he came into TAS-S and I didn't even have a chance to take his photo before he was whisked away to his new home. From Quebec to Toronto - another perfect dog saved in the nick of time from a needle to the heart.

A photo from his new family:

So, there's that big honkin' facebook banner at the top of this page now which will take you to the new Pound Dogs facebook page and if you click "Like" you'll get up-to-date information on the dogs up for adoption. At least that's the idea - since I've been getting more and more questions about the dogs posted on this blog here like when they're going into adoption or if they're picky eaters or if they got better than a B+ average on their math tests.

I guess we'll have to see how this works out, if I can maintain the facebook page so that it has some relevancy

Or I might just use it to link to laughing baby videos.

I don't know. Sometimes it's all just a crapshoot.

The couple first see her in the morning, a loose dog on her own, near the intersection of Pacific Ave. and Dundas West which is in a mixed city neighbourhood known as The Junction.

Later that evening, the husband stumbles across her again while walking his own dog, this time in High Park, a large city green space with a very popular off-leash dog area. This is about 1 km south of where the dog was in the morning. He feeds her some dog treats but is unable to capture her. He says she is very timid and afraid to go near people.

They send an e-mail to Toronto Animal Services to let them know about the stray.

Several days pass and there is no sign of her and no one has called in about a missing dog matching her description.

Then in the second week, there is a call from someone living near Harbord St. and Shaw St. which would be just a bit north of Little Italy and about 5 km east of High Park. The person reports there is a dog in the backyard. TAS sends out an Animal Control Officer and the dog is caught and brought back to the shelter.

Now here she is, our little runaway - or was she kicked out ? - not too much worse for the wear.

She is a meek dog but very affectionate once she gets to know you. Loud noises and sudden moves make her freeze and then she looks to you for reassurance before she'll continue. In fact, while walking with her, her preferred location is either right beside me against my leg or walking between my feet, which is obviously a bit of a trip hazard.

She really enjoys the company of other dogs, though, so maybe the ideal home for her would have a confident dog who could show her that things out there in the world aren't all scary.

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

Sometimes a dog comes into Toronto Animal Services and it's hard to see how it will ever make it back out. Shera was such a dog, so fearful of every new stranger who walked by her and at the same time in such mourning over the absence of her owner who had just passed away that she would try to tear apart everything in her kennel every night - the bedding, the water bowl, the metal door - and in the process injure herself and in the morning, drops of blood everywhere.

There was no previous abuse here. If Shera suffered, it was because she loved too much, as some dogs do, and couldn't bare to be without her owner but this combination of stress around strangers and separation anxiety made it seem unlikely that a suitable person would step forward in time to take her out of the shelter before her anxiety levels reached a point where nothing further could be done.

You always wanted to say, if only someone could see past this to the other side of her because the other side of her was beautiful. Once trust was established - and it didn't take long but it took longer than the cute doggie in the next kennel who wagged its tail and batted its eyes at every passer by - Shera was gently affectionate, attentive, calm. She was a very appreciative companion.

Shera spent several weeks at Toronto Animal Services and over those weeks her stranger stress diminished somewhat. She no longer hid in the back corner of her kennel every time someone walked by but her separation anxiety still manifested itself every night with the destruction of her bedding.

Some of the staff took her home for overnights to see if some of her anxiety was shelter based and they reported back that she was fine with them. No messes, no damage done to the house, no wild behaviour. But they never left her alone by herself in their homes. The test didn't go that far.

For those first several weeks, Shera was held back from general adoption because of her behaviour but now that she was somewhat better, at least around people, she was given a chance. Whoever was interested in her would have everything explained to them, all her issues. Given that there were several other dogs with no such baggage also looking for homes, we all figured she'd be bypassed by most everyone and that she'd be in adoption for weeks if not longer. Separation anxiety and anxiety around strangers have no quick, easy, magic cures (it can be done but requires work and diligence) and life in a shelter is no fairy tale with a guaranteed happily ever after.

It was a surprise then that it was less than a week when a couple came into the shelter and asked to spend time with her. And even more of a surprise when they asked if they could adopt her. All her problems were explained to them but they said their last dog also had similar issues and they were willing to give it a try. One of them was home most of the day anyway so that would be a big help. From what I heard about the interview, it didn't sound like anyone was going to talk them out of taking Shera home. They had spent months looking for their next dog after their old one passed away and they were sure Shera was the one. It sounded like they had seen the other side of her and had already fallen in love.

From friends, newspapers, blogs, facebook, every day I hear about terrible things terrible people have done to their pets. Every day the message is reinforced that people are no good, people are rotten, people are habitually selfish and casually evil. It's too easy to forget that no rescue would ever succeed if this were the only truth about people. People are also decent and kind and generous. People give these abandoned animals second chances. People take these poor souls home and give them warmth and food and show them love and compassion. Rescues only succeed because even though someone may have done a bad deed, someone else steps forward to do a good one.

I have hope that Shera's adoption will succeed. I was in at TAS on Saturday and saw one of the adopters back visiting Shera. Shera won't be ready to go home until Tuesday and her new owner wanted to hang out with her. I saw them together as they passed me, walking side by side, friendship growing, this time goodness prevailing.

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

Toronto City Hall wants your input on what you think are essential city services. We all know they are heading towards a budgetary crisis - a shortfall of $774 million for 2012 - and, despite all election promises, they're looking at what services they can cut or privatize. "Your friends in Ford Nation" will be holding a series of public meetings to get a sense of what people want to keep and what people are willing to cut back on.

These public meetings will be held between May 24 and June 7 but you must register for them if you want to get in.

Alternatively, you can do a survey on line here to let them know which services you value in your city. The first section of the survey pertains to city services in general while in the second part of the survey, you can choose to address more specific departments. Toronto Animal Services is grouped together in a licensing category and if you click on that department, you will be asked specific questions such as do you think the city should continue to look after animal welfare related services such as adoption and care or if you think it should be privatized or if you don't think animal welfare should be a major concern for the city at all.

Since you're here reading this blog, I'm hoping you think animal welfare issues are important enough that the city should be concerned about them. The question, then, is whether or not animal services can be better run by the city or by a private company.

While privatization is not in itself always necessarily a bad thing, I don't believe it works for the benefit of the animals in this case. More than likely, someone will be wanting to make a profit from a privatized pound and taking care of animals takes money away from the bottom line. Rescuing animals from other jurisdictions will certainly be canceled. Animals will only be allowed a very limited time in adoption before they are exterminated. Euthanasias are cheaper than dog food and care so they will be more readily dispensed in cases of minor illnesses or behaviour issues or advanced age or because it's 5 o'clock on a Friday and someone wants to go drinking. Staff will be cut back. Compassionate staff will be eliminated. Volunteer programs will also likely be stopped because those loud mouthed, bleeding hearts always spell trouble for private pounds.

I'm not saying these things will absolutely happen or even to what degree they will happen in a privatized system but there is obviously more incentive for such things to occur given the profit motive and the creep to rottenness is almost inevitable.

And because the animal cruelty laws are so weak in Ontario, it's likely that any animal suffering caused by negligence or intent will be roundly ignored if it could even ever be exposed. With a private pound, there will be no freedom of information act which can be used to check their records. You'll never find out what happens to the animals behind the closed doors. You'll never find out how many animals get put into the dumpster because the return on investment numbers didn't work out in their favour.

Toronto Animal Services South alone (I don't have the numbers for the other three locations) saved the lives of over 400 dogs, 1000 cats and 300 small domestic animals last year through their rescue and adoption programs.

Meanwhile, here's a reminder of what's happening in Quebec right now with their privatized pounds (nothing overly graphic in the visuals but the verbal descriptions are very disturbing):

Interview with Berger Blanc's investigator from SPA Canada on Vimeo.

Please don't let this happen in Toronto. I urge you to take some time to fill out the online survey and support a city run Toronto Animal Services.

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

There may be many reasons why this Husky pup is smiling but I think the main one is that even though I warned the half dozen people who were milling around Toronto Animal Services to not pet this girl because she was kind of covered in small splotches of poop, it didn't stop anyone. Okay, it stopped one person but I could tell it was a struggle for her to control her outstretched fingers. Irresistible even while stinky. That's some kind of superpower.

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

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

The perils of dog photography.


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


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.