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Loads of dog welfare related stuff happening in Toronto over the next couple of weeks so I thought I'd put up a list.

The city's Executive Committee is meeting once again on September 19th to discuss and listen to deputations concerning service cuts and anyone is free to sign up to deliver a deputation. If you feel so inclined, you can go to City Hall and tell the committee how important Toronto Animal Services is to you. To sign up, go to the mentioned link and hit the "Request to Speak" button or phone 416-392-6627.

The ORA (Organization for the Rescue of Animals) has invited Bill Bruce, head of Calgary Animal Services, to town and he will be speaking about the successes of the the CAS model on Friday, September 30, 2011 at the Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville Hotel in the Portman Room (220 Bloor Street West) at 7:00 PM. Tickets are $11.30. For more info: 416-726-5762.

Anti-BSL rally. Support MPP Cheri DiNovo in her attempt to remove breed specific legislation (anti-Pit Bull laws) from Ontario. Saturday, October 1 · 4:00pm - 7:00pm. Downtown Toronto - Exact location to be announced. More info here.

One of the area's most successful rescues, Dog Rescuers Inc., is putting on a fundraiser next weekend. These guys are great, and even greater in my eyes after they took in Beauty, so check them out if you're in the area:

The Toronto Humane Society is also having its annual Paws in the Park fundraiser walk in October:

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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.