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Some of the recent Pound Dog postings for the adoptable dogs at Toronto Animal Services South have crossed many people's eyes, in large part thanks to all you readers and sharers, and it's meant those dogs have found homes quickly. That's great because as decent a shelter as TAS may be, it's not a resort for dogs and the sooner they get out and into good homes, the better. And of course the sooner they get out, the sooner other rescued dogs can be brought in. Thank you all for helping in that regard.

So, the unexpected result of having popular pups is that people are starting to fight over them and are getting upset when they are not chosen to be the owners. I'm not just talking about people making phone inquiries about specific dogs, which is great and appreciated, but the people who are getting upset to the point where they are swearing at staff and complaining to city councilors. If there were a way to express to any of the dogs in question how much they were desired, I'm sure they would be most flattered and they'd go get a trendy haircut and make a scandalous Youtube video and become famous and marry some teen fame whore and try not to end up in rehab in six months. But, human/dog communication isn't at that level yet, so the pups have to settle for loving homes, which is not settling at all, of course, because that's really all they want: loving homes.

While I'd be somewhat disappointed as well if a dog I saw online and wanted was adopted out to someone else, I'd also be happy because the dog now has a decent life. And if I were still really hoping to get a new family member sooner than later, there are so many dogs out there being fostered by rescue groups, at the Toronto Humane Society, at shelters and pounds just a little bit outside of Toronto who are waiting for homes, and many of those dogs, at least the ones in municipal pounds, are being euthanized because they're not finding homes soon enough.

It's wonderful that the Pound Dogs blog helps TAS South dogs get adopted out. It's not wonderful that it makes some people angry because they didn't get the dog they wanted. Toronto Animal Services has some great animals up for adoption but TAS is not a distributor of an exclusive product. Homeless animals are everywhere and they come in all shapes and sizes and they are all great and good and deserving. There is another dog out there waiting for you. Please don't be upset you didn't get the dog you wanted this time. You can now open up your home to another animal in need.

Here are Precious and Taffy, a lovely bonded pair of senior dogs at Dog Rescuers Inc.:

Here is Buzz, a Yorkie mix pup at Happy Tails Rescue:

Here's Ramona, a Bernese mix at Speaking of Dogs:

These are four amongst the thousands. They are all waiting.

15 Comments to “Choices”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great post. It's so sad to see people reduced to this behaviour when there are soooo many animals out there begging for a loving forever home. :(

  2. The ears on Buzz are photoshopped, right? Those can't be real.....

    Great article; I am so happy I adopted an older dogs. They have so much to give.

  3. GoLightly says:

    Isn't that ridiculous.. Thanks for saying the completely obvious. Some people's kids! "TAS is not a distributor of an exclusive product."

    Maybe they need a sign saying that..

  4. Thanks for posting Precious and Taffy they are just as awesome as any "dog of the moment"!

  5. Anonymous says:

    What an amazing blog, TAS. Topics are always interesting, but it is also written beautifully - much better than most blogs out there. We love following you.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Once again a kind thoughtful post. I think that your so well written, non sugary descriptions of the dogs at TAS that give the dogs interesting personalities are what draws people to adopt them. It is too sad that people cause trouble when they don't get the dog they want, but maybe with that attitude they might not have been good owners anyway. As you say so well, there are so many dogs needing homes all over Ontario. It is too bad they all don't have a bio written by you! But your post reminding people that the needy dogs are out there should help them I am sure, My own wonderful dog came from Meet the Pack Rescue, an older, black dog (supposedly the ones never chosen) but he is an absolute delight!

  7. Bev says:

    To me, this underscores why shelters and rescues need to reach out to the photography community in their area and use their skills and resources. The right photo will highlight not only the physical beauty of each pet, but also some of their personality and what makes them special. Photos such as yours allow people to look forward and see what life with that dog will be like. It would be great if we could see more write-ups like yours, too, although that is changing on sites like As more shelters see the advantage of taking the time to share the details about the pets, more will start making the time to do it right. Keep on keeping on, Fred!

  8. Anonymous says:

    It's your photo's and write ups that sell these dogs. You are able to capture each dog's personality. Many of the pictures used on other sites are often terrible shots. If only each rescue or shelter had a Fred of their own....

  9. Clearly, the TAS-S staff are making the right choice when they are choosing NOT to give a dog to someone who them becomes abusive because they have been thwarted. Imagine how they would react when they found that the dog is actually a personality and creature of its own, with needs that go beyond catering to the ego(s) of their adoptor. Until they can learn to control their egos and their tempers, these people ought not to be allowed to have an animal at all.

  10. Kit Lang says:

    it is incredible to me how clearly these people you speak of are missing the point. Of it all.

    Thanks for the reminder to them.

  11. Lynn says:

    Yesterday I lost my beloved Husky mix of 13 years, Savannah. As I was writing to friends this morning about her passing, I realized that in the day to day details there was nothing extraordinary about her. She was a dog, like most dogs, who loved to eat and sleep and play. The bond that we have and the love that I have for her was not because she was the perfect dog who could not be compared to any other. It's because she was a dog. It's what dogs are. It's the bond that grows between us that is extraordinary.

    Every one of our shelter and rescue dogs has the potential to be that animal with which one builds that bond. I wish people would stop looking for the perfect dog and worry more about what happens once they bring the dog home.

  12. Addie says:

    When I decided to adopt a dog I spent a month or more just reading petfinder and petharbour posts. Then I travelled to a rural pound to apply for a dog I liked but didn't end up getting. I visited THS and looked at all their dogs. Then I came to TAS to look at a dog I saw online and ended up passing him going home with his new owners on my way in the building. 3 days later I took home a dog I had looked at online and decided wasn't the one for me. If the dog I liked online hadn't been adopted first, I would never have looked twice at Dingo (and may still have not gotten that other dog). If people are patient and open minded they will find a dog they like, and it will become the perfect dog when they get it home and start to fall in love.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the plug for Buzz. His ears are NOT photoshopped at all!!!They looked a bit large until we had him groomed ,but when the weight came off they popped right up. We will have to keep him out of high winds so he doesn't fly away I guess:-)He is an exuberant but nervous 7 month old who needs an experienced owner who can keep his anxiety ( and ears) in check.... From the Happy Tails Rescue gang.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Wise post. I was lucky to get the puppy I first saw here. Lucky because she didn't go up for adoption for some time due to some medical issues. Lucky because she was promised to someone else first but they decided not to take her. Lucky because I got to TAS-S minutes for my scheduled meet-and-greet before another person who was interested in her. But I've also had some trying and frustrating times with her. She's a willful pup who likes to attack feet and bark and run off and not always come when called. I jokingly say (or not so jokingly) that she'll be the last puppy I ever get. Two weeks after I got her a two-year-old dog came up for adoption and I did wonder if she would have been a better choice. But as you and others have said or implied: If you're a loving and giving person almost any and every dog can be the one.

  15. Erin says:

    I'm amazed, but then people often amaze me. I personally understand that it's disappointing to decide to meet an animal and then not adopt them for whatever reason, but the goal for the animals is to go to good (heck, great!) homes. All the people at the TAS do amazing work to achieve that goal and I for one, say thank you (and so does Mabel!).

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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.