Follow iwantapounddog on Twitter

From Tyler's owner:

I've been meaning to write you for awhile to tell you about life with our little boy who we named "Tyler Jackson Lang".

When we went to TAS South, we were actually planning to get Milo (the little beagle who had been brought back because the owners were going on vacation - even though the person I spoke with thought he wouldn't like cats) but when we got there he was jumping and leaping and yelling, and I thought "My god, the cats will hate HIM." But Tyler was in the cage next to him and when I bent down to say "hi" I fell deeply in love. :) (My spouse said it was totally mutual.)

We spent some time in the get-to-know-you-room, and Tyler and I were convinced, but she was less so. I suggested she take him for a walk solo and when she got back, she said "Okay."

He was kind of mess - smelly, with a matted coat, tiny skinny little chicken ribs and issues with both of his back legs - but after a visit to the vet (who assured us his legs wouldn't need surgery although we were totally prepared to do so) so we brought him home, and let the introduction to the cats begin.

These days he runs the NASCAR track that happens every morning (he tears along the hall and the cats run beside, in front or leap over him according to their own wishes), shares their toys (although he hasn't yet learned to share his!) and curls up with them on our bed, or on the floor in a little grouping of pet beds. He loves to sit in front of the aquariums and watch the fish (sometimes barking at them) and loves to watch National Geographic Wild.

He's a very active boy, always wanting to wrestle and play and ever willing to go for hours-long walks, and is loving and affectionate and a joy to have.

He's put on just the right amount of weight, and with regular baths and trims of his unruly hair, he charms the world.

But he's ours, and we love him.

Thanks TAS for all the great work you do, and for introducing us to the wonderful little boy.

I often ask myself why someone would give up this particular dog or that particular dog and then I meet a dog like Monroe and I wonder, why the hell would someone give up this dog. I know, I know. Golden Retrievers are stereotyped to be great family dogs blah blah blah but Monroe really is a great family dog so I hope he goes to a great family.

The best way to check on the adoption status of this dog (and other dogs and cats and other small domestic animals) is to visit Toronto Animal Services adoption website or call 416 338 6668 for the Toronto Animal Services South shelter. If the dog is no longer on the TAS adoption website, it's probably because it's been adopted already.

(Already adopted.)

Harry, adopted the same day he went into general adoption. They say he's a Border Collie mix but he looks 100% most excellent mutt to me.

The best way to check on the adoption status of this dog (and other dogs and cats and other small domestic animals) is to visit Toronto Animal Services adoption website or call 416 338 6668 for the Toronto Animal Services South shelter. If the dog is no longer on the TAS adoption website, it's probably because it's been adopted already.

From the owner of Shadow (now Lennox):

Hey! thought i would give you an update on shadow/lennox.He is just amazing and has been doing great. He is pretty much fully settled in and is just such a good boy. No idea how someone could give him up.

Whoa, that's like more than three hundred pounds worth of dogs in the house.

(Several very quick adoptions happened recently so I'm going to be catching up, over the next few days, on some overdue posts of dogs who have already found homes, like this guy.)

Sunny, aka Holy Terror, is about 10% evil. I know you're looking at all the cute photos and thinking, "How can that puppy be any amount of evil at all?" but believe you me, do not let his big wide sad brown puppy eyes fool you.

Of course that's not going to stop anyone from adopting him and giving him a good home and hopefully training that evil out of him and then the new owner will show up at TAS South one day with Sunny all grown up and say, "See, there's nothing evil about him," but that won't matter because I will know the truth about Sunny when he was a pup. I know about puppies in general. At least 10% evil.

It's the first time I walk Sepehr on his own. We walk by Nancy's cage and he glances over at her but is more interested in moving on, heading outside.

Sepehr starts panting as soon as we step out the front door. He's basically a walking, hairy ball so no wonder. If I had him, I'd consider shaving him down and maybe making wool out of his hair and knitting a doggie sweater out of it. Then in the winter, when he got cold (because he'd still be shaved), I could put the sweater on him to keep him warm. Yes, I know. I should patent these ideas.

There's a soccer game on and various gates have been put up so I have to take a different route. The heat is rippling up off the asphalt and I worry about Sepehr's feet. I try to keep him on the grass whenever possible.

We end up by the water fountains and Sepehr, without any encouragement hops up onto the concrete edge of the pool and then jumps in. He wades around for a bit and then lies right down in the water. He looks up at me and says, Hey look, I'm a crocodile.

He's still a little damp by the time we get back to the TAS building. We walk by Nancy's cage again and this time Sepehr stops. They sniff each other nose to nose for a moment and then he moves on.

Later I find out Nancy's been adopted. She's getting picked up on Sunday.

Now, let's find Sepehr a home.

The best way to check on the adoption status of this dog (and other dogs and cats and other small domestic animals) is to visit Toronto Animal Services adoption website or call 416 338 6668 for the Toronto Animal Services South shelter. If the dog is no longer on the TAS adoption website, it's probably because it's been adopted already.

This is not an official statement of any sort from TAS (but it should be).

From Nicola Ware:

My reply to the National Post columnist who thinks police should not be called for 'Hot Dog' complaints (dogs left in hot vehicles). A police spokesperson suggested calling Animal Services, instead.

His column: Peter Kuitenbrouwer: The hot dog circus on Queen’s Quay


While I agree this case was somewhat of a "fiasco", and that police resources need to be allocated responsibly, there are a few things about which you may be unaware with respect to incidents like that involving Parker the dog.

Calling 311 to request Animal Services respond to a complaint of an animal confined to a vehicle would seem the reasonable and logical thing to do. However, much of the public is unaware of the degree to which TAS is limited when called with such complaints.

Officers with Toronto Animal Services have no legal authority to enter private property - including a vehicle - to either assess or remove an animal in distress.

Even if it's 38 degrees outside, and the animal has been confined for three hours, and is exhibiting signs of heat-related illness.

Even if multiple complaints are received, and media is on scene.

Even if both of the OSPCA agents assigned to Toronto are already attending to priority calls, or state a response time longer than the animal has to live (their assigned regions are extensive).

Even if police resources are strained, and they have other priority matters and emergencies to attend.

Even if one of the three (yes, just three thanks to cutbacks) TAS officers on duty within the city could get there in time, and didn't have to drive with the 'flow of traffic'.

Even if the vehicle's doors are unlocked.

Even if - following an assessment by an experienced officer - it's determined the animal will presently suffer irreparable brain damage or die if not extricated within minutes.

Even if it collapses before an officer's eyes.

Even if the animal is unresponsive or moribund.

Even if it dies.

Would this be more acceptable than calling the police? When no other agency, organization or service can intervene, who else is there to call?

911 dispatchers handle calls that deal with life and death situations. While human life takes precedence, I would like to think that when an animal's life is willfully endangered by a negligent owner, that police would respond appropriately. After all, under s.446 of the the Criminal Code which addresses animal cruelty, it is an offense to cause or permit distress.

Simply put, current legislation renders TAS powerless to deal with these situations. Consequently, when such incidents occur in Toronto, only the police have the ability to respond quickly, and - more importantly - have the authority to remove the animal from the vehicle. When minutes count, their timely response can be the difference between extricating a pet, or removing a body.


Nicola Ware
Toronto, ON

Mini is adorable. The odds of her lasting past the weekend in adoption are about nil unless there's a massive week long snowstorm in which the army has to be called in. I'm not afraid of a snowstorm, though. I've still got the winter tires on my car.

The best way to check on the adoption status of this dog (and other dogs and cats and other small domestic animals) is to visit Toronto Animal Services adoption website or call 416 338 6668 for the Toronto Animal Services South shelter. If the dog is no longer on the TAS adoption website, it's probably because it's been adopted already.

Luna is a boisterous, friendly, Black Lab mix. She was adopted out a while ago and then returned just last week.

I hate when this happens but sometimes things just don't work out. Eyes bigger than one's appetite. Cameron was returned earlier last week as well but was rehomed within a few days.

The first time through TAS, Luna was adopted before I had a chance to even take her photo. Hopefully, her stay this time will be just as short but her absence much much longer.

The best way to check on the adoption status of this dog (and other dogs and cats and other small domestic animals) is to visit Toronto Animal Services adoption website or call 416 338 6668 for the Toronto Animal Services South shelter. If the dog is no longer on the TAS adoption website, it's probably because it's been adopted already.

From the new owners of Care Bear, now Molly:

Hi, we thought we'd send you a few photos of Molly. She's been such an amazing girl and we can't thank you and the people at TAS enough for all you do

It's hard to believe Molly had been passed over for months! All she asks is for a good head scratch, and to follow us wherever we go. You were so right, she just wants to be with people! She's amazing, patient and kind with kids, well actually anyone with hands that wants to play with her

We're working on helping her make friends with other dogs, as she tends to get scared, but we're sure with time she'll start warming up to some 4 legged friends

Thanks again, we are so happy we found her!

David, Kara and Molly

Sweet Tart calms down after a few ear scratches which I think is her way of thinking I'm good for something after all. Outside, she's a multi-tasker, nose like a radar darting this way then that way trying to pick up every scent which floats by. She knows I'm beside her but there are a hundred other amazing smells competing for her attention.

Inside, when I sit, she sits beside me, leans in for more head scratches.

The best way to check on the adoption status of this dog (and other dogs and cats and other small domestic animals) is to visit Toronto Animal Services adoption website or call 416 338 6668 for the Toronto Animal Services South shelter. If the dog is no longer on the TAS adoption website, it's probably because it's been adopted already.

Toronto Animal Services doesn't usually see a lot of Great Danes passing through its doors, especially local stray ones (as opposed to rescues from other jurisdictions) so it's somewhat surprising that there were two in at the same time. Shadow is the second Dane but unlike Beth, he is young, healthy and full of beans and up for adoption.

Shadow is only eight months old so he's got a whole lot more growing to do as Danes don't usually reach their full weight until they're around two years old. Having said that, I don't think Shadow is going to be a giant, well, not a giant as far as Danes are concerned meaning two hundred pounds or more. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if Shadow got up to 140 pounds eventually.

Some Danes can be a little stand-offish with strangers but not Shadow. He's feels more comfortable around calm people and then he's generously giving out hugs and kisses.

The person who surrendered Shadow said he was a Great Dane Rottweiler mix. I don't really see any Rottie in Shadow at all.

The best way to check on the adoption status of this dog (and other dogs and cats and other small domestic animals) is to visit Toronto Animal Services adoption website or call 416 338 6668 for the Toronto Animal Services South shelter. If the dog is no longer on the TAS adoption website, it's probably because it's been adopted already.

Sara doesn't think what she's doing is a big deal but I know she's wrong. Beth - Sara's named the old Great Dane Beth - is lying on the floor of Sara's flower shop enjoying the slight draft from one of the refrigeration units. Beth's tumour swollen foot is wrapped up. She's ambulatory but not over long distances. When closing time comes, Beth will get put in a wagon and pulled along the sidewalk from the shop to home.

The vet's already looked her over. Aside from the bleeding tumour in her foot, Beth has kidney disease, her hind quarters have no sensation, she's running a fever and she's incontinent with both urine and bowel movements. I think there may be a couple of other things I've missed.

I've lived with a urine incontinent Great Dane before. It's a big deal. Sara takes Beth out every 60 - 90 minutes. She has the alarm set on her phone to remind her.

We're on the topic of Beth's previous owners. Sara guesses the situation was maybe something like a married couple: one person couldn't handle the upkeep but the other didn't want to euthanize the dog. They agonized over a decision and finally decided to leave the dog tied up in a park as a last chance for the dog. Sara wants to think the best of those people. I tell her she's a better person than me. I don't think the best about those people at all.

Never mind about those people, someone says. Whatever their intentions, Beth is with Sara now. They're going to take it day by day. Beth is not a well dog and the prognosis is not good but as long as she's not suffering, she'll have a place to call home.

Before I leave the shop, I give Beth one last ear rub. Stella used to love those and Beth now leans her head into the palm of my hand and I hear a soft moan. Beth is happy. May we all be so blessed to be happy in our final days.

(Beth passed away one week later.)


I've always intentionally kept advertisements off the blog but if anyone deserves a free shout out, it's Sara. She runs Sweetpea's flower shop on Roncesvalles (go to the website then click on "the zoo" link for something unexpected). If you're in the hood, do yourself a favour and check the place out. Gorgeous flowers, arrangements, landscaping services, gardening supplies and charming sales staff.

And of course there's also Toby, the store mascot (or maybe he's just one of the store mascots), another rescued Great Dane from Danes in Distress. No wonder the shop is going gangbusters with customers.

All week I'd been wanting to go see the ten year old Great Dane who was at Toronto Animal Services. Ten years is old for a Dane. I saw her in the Lost animals listings one night and when she was still there a day later, I knew no one was going to retrieve her. One doesn't "lose" a Great Dane and not go frantically searching through hell and high water for the dog until it's found.

I could see from the intake photo, there was something very wrong with her back foot, some growth or a swelling. It looked twice its normal size. I phoned in and was told she could barely stand. They didn't know if it was just because of the foot or if there were some additional problems as well contributing to her difficulties. Whatever the reasons, this dog was not in good shape. Old, discarded, diseased and/or injured. She wasn't going to make it into general adoption.

Great Danes, for all their hugeness, are somewhat fragile dogs. Physically, they are prone to some pretty nasty afflictions (bloat, heart disease, wobblers to name a few) but mentally as well, they are not so tough. They need their soft beds and their warm jackets and they need their humans. They don't do well in shelters.

On Saturday, I finally get into the shelter and first thing I ask about her. I'm told someone had found her tied up in a park. The dog could barely walk so there was no way it could have gotten away from her owner. She was tied there intentionally and left there intentionally. The person called TAS and an animal control officer brought her back to the shelter.

The Dane is grey and she looks obviously old. She's lying on blankets spotted with blood. She looks up and wags her tail when she sees me standing outside her door but she doesn't get up. She reminds me of Stella, of course. She's got the same goofy face, same jowly smile, same floppy ears and especially, the same eyes.

The cup half full part of me hopes that perhaps the dog's owners are somehow innocent of abandoning her. Perhaps she was stolen. Perhaps some misfortune befell the owner on their walk. None of this explains why no one has turned up looking for the dog after more than a week.

The cup half empty part of me - I refrain from letting it out this time.

I'm also thinking the Great Dane community in Toronto isn't that big. Someone out there must recognize this dog, know who its owners are.

When I open the door to her cage and step inside, she gets excited and her tail thump thumps against the floor even harder. She starts shuffling and makes moves to get up. I try to keep her lying down but she's insistent on standing. It takes her several seconds to maneuver herself into a position where she can push herself up without putting too much pressure on her foot. And then when she's up she's in obvious discomfort. Limping. She comes over a step and gives me a lick on the face.

I am proud to say I did not start bawling at this point.

I want to take her outside but I know I can't because of her foot. I want to take her home and give her a good last few days or weeks but I can't because I don't know where I'll be living and I don't know if I could handle it, the ending. Another dog maybe but not a Dane, not one that reminds me so much of Stella.

Or maybe I would have anyway. I don't know. Luckily, it wasn't a question I needed to answer. Someone else had already stepped up to the plate. I was told someone would be taking the Dane on Sunday, getting her checked out by a vet, making some hard decisions on the dog's behalf.

Sunday is today. When I phone at lunch, the Dane is already gone.

If you're reading this, thank you and please let me know how she's doing.

Update: Here she is in her new home at Sweetpea's.

Also, a visit.

Today's post isn't about pound dogs per se. It's about living with dogs or, more specifically, trying to find a place to live while being a dog owner.

One of the most frequent reasons people give for surrendering a dog is that they are moving and the new place doesn't allow dogs (so maybe this is about pound dogs after all). The obvious - and only - correct answer to that situation is: so don't move there. However, finding a rental which allows dogs can be tricky. I know because I'm now in that position.

Long story short: I've sold my house and am now looking for a rental space in the city. This is a decision which is part of a larger "plan" to eventually build a place outside of the city while having a smaller place in town. "Plan" is in quotes because it's not really a plan, more an idea. One day, I'd like to have a country place where people and their critters can stretch their legs a bit. Right now, I'd just like to find a city place where I can plunk down my bed and the landlord doesn't mind dogs.

Those pet friendly accommodations are out there. With hundreds of thousands of dog and cat owners in Toronto and many, if not most, of them living in rental units, I know those accommodations are out there. It's just that there's no easy way of finding them and I imagine that's frustrating for a whole lot of pet owners. On View It and MLS listings, two of the most popular online sites for finding rental units as far as I know, there is no way to filter for pet friendly rentals. That means most of the time I'm clicking through all the descriptive info only to find at the end "NO PETS".

Now I know it's illegal to discriminate against pet owners in Ontario when it comes to rental accommodations but I also know what's going to happen as soon as the pet issue is brought up, legal or not: rejection. Also, I don't really want to start off on the wrong foot with a landlord even if I thoroughly disagree with the no pet policy. It's their property after all and they want to preserve it as they see fit but I don't think discriminating against pet owners really gives them any advantage. The goal of a landlord should be to appeal to the widest market in order to get the best tenant possible regardless of pet ownership.

In my own limited experience as a landlord (I had housemates in my house for a few years), the best tenants were always the ones responsible enough to own and take care of their pets. The not so great tenants were the ones who were petless. Those ones had few, if any, real responsibilities in life and that extended to their actions as tenants.

So far, after scouring the listings, I've got a few leads - as in less than five.

Perhaps I'm too picky. I haven't rented in years so maybe I'm being unrealistic with my wish list:

1. South of Bloor somewhere between High Park and the Beaches
Or, if not in that area, then close to the subway or GO train
Or, if not in that area and also not close to the subway or GO, then some irresistibly appealing characteristic about the place like a waterfall with friendly, talking polar bears swimming in it or an alien launch pad/ice cream mountain or something along those lines because who could possibly pass up on something like that even though the commute to work might be hellacious.

2. A grassy, enclosed yard. If I didn't want this, I could just live in a condo.

3. Parking, preferably covered, for my other pet, the motorcycle.

4. On site laundry. If I had to drag my laundry to a laundramat every week I'd be very tempted to just wear disposable clothing like those white, paper/plastic jumpsuits they all wear in high tech facilities. Another good thing with the disposable jumpsuits would be that I wouldn't have to pre-plan the night before what I'm going to wear the next day (in the mornings I am bleary eyed and stupid, that's why). Hmm, maybe I'll just go ahead and do that regardless of on site laundry or not.

5. Two bedrooms or one bedroom plus storage because after living in a house for over ten years, I've got some stuff.

6. Pets allowed, of course.

The stumbling block, way more often than not, is the pets allowed part.

The best solution I've come across for the pet paranoid landlords who still want to keep their options open is to charge an extra monthly "pet deposit", say $50, which is reimbursed at the end of every year if there's been no pet inflicted destruction on the property. This is probably illegal as well but it's better than an outright no pets policy.

So, anyway, I'm curious as to what your personal experiences have been with this stuff, as landlords seeking tenants or tenants seeking accommodations. Were pets a major issue in your search? Did you have any strategies for searching for pet friendly accommodations? Did having a pet affect the choice of tenant/accommodation? Did you dump your pet at TAS because that was the only way you could get into that newly renovated unit with the steam sauna, five piece Bosch kitchen set and refinished barnwood floors? - kidding (but if you did do that, I don't want to know. Seriously). Any other pet related rental experiences, however, I'd love to read about and maybe I can pick up a few pointers.

Nancy and Sepehr have been sitting in their kennel for weeks now and there's been no takers for this pair so it's been decided to adopt them out separately. I don't think that was an easy decision to make but the trade-off is to have them continue to live in a cage indefinitely. Neither is an ideal choice but I suppose a choice had to be made for the welfare of these two dogs. They are not thriving in their present environment. After all this time and travel, they deserve to have homes.

As well, the staff have been noticing that despite their comfort levels with one another, Nancy and Sepehr don't actually seem as bonded as was suggested by the rescue who saved them from that Iranian zoo where they were originally found. They don't really cuddle together; they don't pay much attention to each other on their walks; Nancy actually seems somewhat intimidated by Sepehr because Sepehr, while a great people dog, can be kinda pushy with other dogs sometimes.

I'm not sure how I feel about splitting them apart for adoption. It saddens me that they will be separated because while they aren't as strictly bonded as some of the other pairs that have recently passed through TAS, they are companions to each other. On the other hand, it saddens me as well that they have been passed over again and again and spend all their days peering out of their cage door yearning for human contact.

I hope that once separated, they will be adopted out in fairly short order. Nancy is a sweetheart and Sepehr is a gregarious charmer.

The decision to allow Nancy and Sepehr to be adopted out separately does not however preclude the possibility of someone adopting them together while they are still both available. So, if you know anyone who might at all be open to adopting two very furry, funny looking dogs, please pass along Nancy and Sepehr's info.

This is Nancy:

This is Sepehr:

Luv Sepehr's big snowshoe feet:

The best way to check on the adoption status of this dog (and other dogs and cats and other small domestic animals) is to visit Toronto Animal Services adoption website or call 416 338 6668 for the Toronto Animal Services South shelter. If the dog is no longer on the TAS adoption website, it's probably because it's been adopted already.


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.