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(From Laura, TAS South volunteer with small domestics.)

Abeline is currently, of all the animals at the shelter, the longest resident. She has been waiting for a home longer than any cat, dog or small animal.

She was rescued from a hoarder back in October 2011, along with a large number of other rabbits. They had all been kept in tiny, cramped cages their entire lives without any exercise. Because of this, many of them showed territorial behaviour and were very protective of their space. Abeline was one of the ones who showed territorial behaviour. Initially, I thought she was a bit of a twit, to be honest. But I took her into foster care because the shelter was too full at the time, and soon realized I was wrong. In a home environment, Abie blossomed. She turned out to be a confident, outgoing girl who would just melt if you petted her on the head. She's very independent and likes to do her own thing, but she comes to you in her time.

When she went back to the shelter, she had settled down quite a bit. With regular exercise, her territorial behaviour fades away and now it's mostly gone. She's been held back, though, because she doesn't make a great first impression. With people she knows, she is affectionate and friendly. But with strangers, she's wary and may grunt or run away. It makes it hard for people to pick her when they come in to adopt. It's frustrating, because we've seen how great she can be in a home with a family she knows.

We've taken her to events, taken her on Animal House Calls and featured her on the Facebook page, but she just can't seem to catch a break. She's a real character and would do fantastic in a home where she could be penned or live free-range. She just needs someone to bond with her and see her real personality.

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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.