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Marie's got this wolfish look about her but I think she's more like a lamb. Also, from Anishnabe.

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

Another ex-street dog from Anishnabe. Probably a German Shepherd Husky mix. If Noir were a person, he'd be that kinda quiet, well-behaved high school student with the proper haircut who does his homework and gets pretty good grades and only ever dates one girl before heading off to university and after graduating near the top of his class, gets a good job and then marries and buys a house with a reasonable 25% down payment and spends the rest of his life content and grateful for his good fortune.

That might sound boring but hey if you want a superstar, try adopting Justin Beiber, otherwise what else would you want in a dog?

Update: Might help if I got the sex right. Noir is female.

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

This is a month ago. I notice an adoption notice for a dog named Tiger up at Toronto Animal Services North. Tiger is a fourteen year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier who was found as a stray in Toronto. The write up says she is a very nice dog who needs a quiet retirement home. It also mentions something about medical issues.

I phone and ask about her and find out more. Tiger's original owners had been located. They had papers for her to prove she's a legit Ontario Staff Terrier, grandfathered to pre-BSL days, allowed to live in the province without a death sentence hanging over her head.

I'm not sure what happened with Tiger, if her original owners still had her or if she'd been passed along. Something changed, though. Her circumstances, their circumstances? Either way, someone figured throwing this old dog out the door was the easiest thing to do. I'm not sure how else she would have ended up as a stray. She'd suffered a stroke sometime in her life so half her body was out of kilter and she was no longer the type of dog who could leap over fences or make a quick getaway, not that she'd ever run in the first place.

Tiger has got separation anxiety. Maybe she's had it all her life but getting thrown out of one's house in old age might give most creatures a sense of insecurity.

Okay, I'm thinking. She sounds like another Cloud, a dog who is going to end up spending months at the shelter, cared for by the staff but overlooked by the public and eventually ... what would become of her?

I make a trip up to TAS North, then, on a clear Saturday morning, warm enough to still ride my motorcycle. My intention is to take her photo and do a post on her, give her some publicity, plus there's always that voice in back nattering on, thinking maybe I could do more.

I arrive at the facility and ask about meeting Tiger and one of the staff brings me behind the building to a fenced-in, grassy yard. North has a spacious facility. They've got a couple of smaller yards, which actually aren't that small and a larger, dog park sized field for the dogs to run in. They've also just recently started a volunteer program up there so I wish them much success with that. Walking the dogs down at TAS South is fine but I'm envious the volunteers up at north get to let the dogs run free, off leash, yet totally secure.

Tiger is brought into the yard to meet me. She is indeed friendly but I can tell immediately her focus is on the staffer. There is a bond between them, no doubt. Tiger, while liking the attention I give her, doesn't want to let the staffer out of her sight.

In Tiger's face, there is something not quite normal about her. The stroke has left its mark in her noticeably asymmetrical expression. Not that I would wish any dog to suffer a stroke but I find her look quite endearing, and, not to be mean, quite comical as well. Tiger wobbles a bit when she walks - no falling over, though. Running is slow for her but even without the stroke, she's an old dog and slowness is to be expected.

I ask about how Tiger gets along with other dogs and I'm told she doesn't really. She wants her peace and quiet and at her age, who can blame her? Selfishly, I think at least now I no longer have to feel guilty if I don't take her home with me but this illustrates the point that her lack of sociability is just another obstacle in the way of her getting rehomed.

The staffer leaves us to get back to some other work. Tiger whines, looks out forlornly through the fence at her most adored one leaving. I try to take photos of her but she won't have anything to do with the camera, at least not while the staffer is away. I coax her and try to ease her anxiety by scratching her backside and rubbing her chest. After about ten minutes, Tiger starts to notice me ... a bit. I take some photos. I get down to her level in the grass, a little concerned about lying in poop remnants from previous dogs but the ground looks clear.

I take more photos, from above, from below, from level, in shadow, in sun, in different spots in the yard. By the time I'm done, Tiger doesn't mind the camera anymore. She's by my side, waiting for more ear scratches. She leans against me.

I'm feeling guilty again.

The staffer comes back in. All of Tiger's attention shifts back to her. Tiger's tail is wagging. Tiger's butt is wagging. The smile on her face is huge. The staffer asks me if I am done with Tiger. I'm a little disappointed but there's not really anything more for me to do and the longer I stay, the more tempted I would be.

I tell the staffer I'm all done. She tells me that she needs to get Tiger back because there's a couple just arrived who are interested in meeting Tiger.

I let her take Tiger away. I go wash my hands. I gear up for the ride back home. Before I put my helmet on, I stare through the window at the couple sitting on the bench, talking to the staffer about Tiger. I can't hear them but I see smiles on their faces mixed with concern. Tiger is wagging her tail, her muzzle against the lap of the man who is scratching her back.

I ride home. I try not to get my hopes up. I wait a few hours before I look. I go online. Tiger's adoption profile has been taken off the TAS North adoption list.

At first I kept thinking Blondie, a Lab mix from Anishnabe, had a bad case of cross-eyes and then realized that half her left eye is blue.

Blondie is typical of so many street dogs who you'd think would have to be tough and mean to survive but instead turn out to be lovely, friendly animals who would do anything to please.

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

Nothing much cuter than a big head on short legs. He's like a walking tissue box cozy. (Did you know tissue box cozies came out of the fifties from too many afternoon tranq and cocktail solo parties mixed with too much leftover acrylic yarn. Okay, maybe that's not true but really, why else would any sane person knit a sweater for a tissue box?) Calm, highly huggable personality to go along with that.

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

If you're one of those people who have a problem with stray children digging up your vegetable garden or overturning and tearing up your garbage then Nina's the dog for you cuz she doesn't like kids much and will bark at them until they get off your property and head over to wreck your neighbour's stuff instead.

In your lap, though, she settles and a part of you thinks you really got to start taking her dog school but another part of you is hypnotized by her big brown eyes and you feed her another piece of cheese.

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

(Previous post on Paws R Us raid here.)

Paws R Us is a puppy mill. You can say that now. It's safe now. They can't sue you for it anymore. A judge in Quebec has declared Paws R Us, based in that province, to be a puppy mill.

According to CTV news, the Labombards, owners of the puppy mill, plead guilty to the charge and in exchange, don't have to pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars in sheltering costs to the people who have been looking after their canine victims these past several weeks. They will have to pay a $10,000 fine however.

Only the future will tell if they decide to appeal or if they try to set up shop under a different name. Or maybe, just maybe, they've come to realize their ethics, when it comes to dog breeding, are no longer in tune with society's ethics and they need to evolve and move on.

This is a victory several years in the making. This is a victory for all the dogs in the care of the HSI who will now hopefully go to good homes. This is a victory for all the future dogs who will not have to suffer the fate of their predecessors. And this is a further victory, perhaps, if this case manages to catch the attention of other puppy millers out there who think they are just making a living and doing nothing wrong and maybe now they will give thought to changing careers or improving conditions for their animals. Or maybe they will just continue to hide behind their traditions like thieves in the night.

I almost feel a twinge of pity for the Labombards. They must be confused. They must feel hard done by, feeling perhaps they are the victims of all these new-fangled, irritating, dangerous, animal extremists and terrorists and their animal rights lawyers and bleeding heart politicians. I almost feel pity for them until I think about who this decision is not a victory for. This is not a victory for all the thousands of dogs who the Labombards have exploited and used up and buried. For them, those hapless dogs who were born into an empty life and knew nothing but four walls and concrete floors and artificial light, who were treated like disposable machines in an industrial factory, this pyrrhic victory comes too late.

Now it's time to get those Paws R Us dogs homed. Then move on to the next puppy mill and take them down until they all fall.

Benny, part Beagle, part joker, couldn't stop laughing.

Benny unfortunately has a bit of a cough at the moment and will be back in adoption once he's better.

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

Fae is the tireless mother to the four Anishnabe puppies.

To my eyes, she looks young enough to still have baby fat in her face. I doubt she's much more than a year old, if that. Fae is an extremely kind and gentle dog, to her puppies especially, but to everyone else she meets as well. I want to scoop up the whole family and put them in a big grassy backyard at the beginning of summer with no more worries in the world.

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

Rule number one of dog photography: Pay attention to what the dog is doing. One instant, the pup's pulling this innocent face:

And then, when I'm still clicking away at the same pup but distracted by another one, this happens:

It's okay, though. A while back I had my hand replaced with a titanium based bio-synthetic material which is impervious to puppy teeth as insurance against just this type of danger.

This scoundrel is one of the four Anishnabe pups. Its mother was slacking off in another room, taking a break from her brood. She has my sympathies.

From Global News:

Last week, Toronto Animal Services South got 17 dogs from the big Anishnabe speuter/rescue mission organized by Animal Rescue Corp. I'll let the video do the explaining.

Here's a quick preview of some of the ones we got. Oh yeah, puppies.

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

Ruby is a transfer from Kingston Road Animal Hospital. She was brought into the clinic by a neighbour after she was hit by a car because her owner couldn't be bothered. No surprise that when the clinic phoned her owner with an estimate, the owner balked and disowned her. The clnic then phoned TAS-South. Ruby was suffering from a shattered femur and a punctured lung. The surgery would cost thousands and now she belonged to no one. TAS-S offered to cover some of the costs - if the clinic would cover the rest - and to find her a home afterward.

Here she is now, weeks later, still in recovery but walking better and breathing again. It'll be a while yet before she's fully recovered and put up for adoption. Lucky will be the family who ends up getting her.

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

(h/t Biscuit for the link)

From Draftfcb in Chicago for Shelter Pet Project:

I really like this guy's expressions. He's a bit of leash biter, has a tendency to get a little over excited but Baxter is super smart and will be a quick learner.

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

There's a hard bump on O'Malley's front right leg so some x-rays were taken to see what was going on. The results seem to point to a bone lesion of some sort and will have to be further investigated by whoever adopts him. At this point, it's impossible to say what may be the cause of the lesion. There's a chance it might be cancer but a pretty small one. There's also a chance it might have been caused by this:

Those bright spots on O'Malley's x-ray are shotgun pellets. At some point during his previous life in Ohio, someone shot him. Whether the shooting was accidental or on purpose, it would've been all the same to O'Malley: a loud noise, then pain and blood but then what happened afterward? Was there angry yelling or sadistic snickering? Or perhaps the fool with the gun didn't even know the dog had been shot. The pound in Ohio where O'Malley was rescued from had no vet records of this so it's quite possible whatever recovery O'Malley made, he made on his own.

He is a strong boy and a good dog. He does seem to have recovered from the incident, at least behaviorally. He is as lovable a Lab as any Lab will ever be. He likes everyone. He likes pretty much everything a dog can like.

Physically, though, when O'Malley sits, he will sometimes lift his leg up as if he were in discomfort but it usually doesn't seem to affect his movement, especially when he's out walking or playing.

O'Malley isn't the first dog to come through TAS-South from Ohio with gunshot wounds. There have been at least two others, discovered after the dogs were adopted out and their respective owners had their x-rays done for one reason or another. The dogs turned out fine but they'd be taking their chances walking through airport security scanners.

So that's at least three wounded refugees now from a gun culture that seems to love God and bullets in equal measure.

That bump in O'Malley's leg - maybe it's a piece of shattered bone from the gunshot. Maybe it's a cyst. Maybe something else. Whatever it is, the new owner will have to deal with it and that's worrisome because it's going to put a damper on the number of people who will be interested in adopting this wonderful dog.

After transporting him here from Ohio, then transporting him back to Ohio for his months long heartworm treatment, then transporting him back here, he's still burdened with this unresolved issue. It's frustrating and unfair but fairness is never really part of the equation when it comes to abandoned animals. At least he's alive.

At the park the other day, injury or no injury, nothing could stop him from having a good wrestle with a new friend.

I'm hoping someone will give this big happy goofball a chance.

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.