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I'm pretty sure something similar to this has happened a few times at Toronto Animal Services.

"The story of the film is an exaggerated account of how I eventually found my rescue dog Noah, but it still reflects a bit of the reality I faced when I was looking to adopt a shelter dog," said Quinto.

Rest of Quinto's quote here.

Here's another recent update from a pup adopted out a couple of years ago. This time it's Poppy who was born to a mum who was rescued from a hoarding situation in a Parkdale apartment building. The pups were a surprise but well taken care of by Carol and Sue of Happy Tails Rescue.

Here's the update and thanks for the lovely photos, Sue:

I just wanted to send some pics of Poppy, the one I adopted. I see a lot of other updates on dogs he blogged about, not sure if he wants them but you never know. Here are the adorable pics of my girl Poppy. Maybe you could forward them to him, she's so photogenic.


I walk out of the adoption room with a nice young Lab and Shannon tells me it's just been adopted and points to the couple filling out the application form so I bring the dog back to its kennel and it's disappointed but I know it won't be for long and this way I can spend more time with Molly.

Molly is the only dog in adoption at Toronto Animal Services South at the moment (at least once the Lab's been taken home) and she's been in adoption for weeks now. As soon as people hear she's not housebroken and on top of that, is a bit mouthy, they move on. This is understandable. Not many people have the time or energy to correct these puppy-like behaviours, especially in a grown-up dog. We make allowances for pups, not so much for the adults.

I'm always surprised by how well Molly walks on a leash. It seems half the time she's heeling and the other half, she's walking ahead, sniffing, but not really pulling. This tells me she's got a good sense of where I am, that she's paying attention to me even when she's got her nose stuck in the snow deciphering some secret scent in the frozen earth beneath the white.

Every so often, as we walk, she nudges my hand. I'm not sure why she does this. An invitation to play? An urging to hurry up, that there are adventures ahead and I'm walking too slow? I'm tempted to respond but I ignore this behaviour from her. She's using her muzzle to touch my hand and I don't want to encourage this placing of her mouth on me by rewarding it with a response. She stops nudging my hand each time after about three or four touches when she realizes it's not getting a reaction from me. She learns.

We walk for about an hour. I can feel her easing up, not that she was tense to start with, but now she's, I don't know, skippier. There's more of a spring in her step. I know she wants to play but she's not sure how to initiate so she does some play bows, she does some zoomies around me and I want to play but again I hold back because she's on leash. She needs to learn and each time when I don't respond, after a while she stops trying. I know she's thinking I'm a killjoy and I wish I could let her off her leash and let her run and get her ya yas out but of course I don't.

When we stop to take some new photos of her, I'm reminded again of how attentive she is. I'm tempting her with treats and her eyes are glued to every move my hand makes: as it goes into my pocket, as it comes out with a tasty morsel, as it holds the treat up waiting for her to sit, as it gets closer to her mouth and she's just about bursting to snap it up but I say, "Gentle" and she waits and finally I say, "Okay" and she takes it from my fingers - not gently, like a well-practiced dog but not bad. Not bad at all.

With a dog like Molly, a person's gotta kinda sorta fall in love with her a little bit even before she's taken home in order to have the willingness to work out her kinks and that's a hard person to find. And there has to be some faith in her, that she will learn, that she will become an "easier" dog.

I don't think house-training her would be difficult, maybe a week of concerted effort, but still, it's a week and many people don't have a week and don't want to come home to a pile of poop in the kitchen at the end of a work day. That's understandable. And the mouthiness - that might take a bit longer because I don't know what's at the root of that behaviour - whether it's anxiety-based or just inappropriate behaviour which was never trained out of her from puppyhood. The mouthiness is not terrible, no biting but there are teeth. This too, however, is behaviour which can be extinguished with positive reinforcement training. Again, not everyone has the time to fix the problems someone else created or ignored.

So, what Molly needs is not just anyone. We need to find a sorta kinda hero for her. Someone who will sorta kinda fall in love with her before having ever taken her home. Someone who can see the spark in her and understand that her unwanted behaviours are just a small and changeable part of her otherwise warm personality, intelligence and beauty.

Instinctually, as with most dogs, Molly knows that people can be good but no one ever has been good to her. No person ever has been her friend or her companion. Molly wants to be someone's friend. She wants to be someone's lifelong companion, just as much as any other dog. You can see that in her face the first time you look at her. Molly needs someone to show her how.

The best way to check on the adoption status of Molly (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 Molly is no longer on the TAS adoption website, it's probably because she's been adopted already.

This is from an adoption in 2010. I recently saw a photo of Maggie and her owner and just have to share it.

What a perfect picture of the best thing anyone involved in adoption can wish for.

And from Maggie's owner:

I adopted her in March of 2010. She was in foster care so not sure how long she was actually at TAS.

She's doing very well. THey told me she was 10 when I adopted her so she's somewhere around 12 now but has no issues. She's due for her yearly checkup beginning of February so I will let you know if anything changes, but last yr at this time she didn't even have arthritis. She's super friendly and loves cuddles. She loves little dogs but has some issues w bigger ones, especially black labs (maybe she was used for breeding?).

The last few months I have seen her slow down a bit, she gets more tired during her walks, etc but she still runs and plays and rolls around in the snow like a puppy. Also I remember she was found in Dec 2009 in Trinity Bellwoods Park with pyometra and she almost died...they had sent the euthanasia order bc she didnt eat for 3 days, but at the last minute she decided to eat

Now she eats a lot.....

My first mistake was forgetting to take out the organic kitchen waste and put it in the green bin on the night before garbage pick-up when it should've gone out.

My second mistake was taking the plastic bag of waste out of its kitchen container a day later and putting it on the floor at the top of the stairs so I would remember to bring it out with Simone's last nightly walk.

My third mistake was not paying attention to Simone as I was on the computer. She usually stays by my side in the house but that night she had quietly gone downstairs and when I half realized she was gone, that part of my brain made some excuse for her like she wanted to get a drink downstairs (which didn't make sense because she had water upstairs) or she heard something and wanted to check it out (which also doesn't make sense because she'd rather I go check out strange noises first) or that she wanted some alone time on the seafoam sofa (which does sorta make sense because it's just that comfy).

When I did finally decide to go downstairs to see what Simone was up to, I first looked into the living room but she wasn't on the sofa. I went into the kitchen but she wasn't at her water bowl. I stood there for a second wondering where she could be. Then I stepped back into the dim hallway, turned on the lights and saw the garbage bag torn open, half its guts spilled out by the top of the stairs.

This wouldn't have been a big deal except I remembered what I had put in there and there was no sign of it as I searched through the remains.

Every couple of weeks or so, I cook up five pounds of ground beef for Simone. I put the hamburger in a pot and put the pot on the stove, stir occasionally for half an hour and it's done. The ground gets divvied up with Simone's meals over the next two weeks.

A lot of fat comes out of the cooking. I scoop the fat out before storing the rest. Rough guess is about a pound of fat comes out of the regular ground. I put the fat in the fridge where it cools and hardens before I put it in the waste bucket. That's what was missing from the mess at the top of the stairs, along with some mouldy cheese, some bits of bruised brown banana, some dry bread but mostly that, mostly the fat was missing.

Simone had eaten a pound of beef fat all in one go.

You know how "scientists" once believed, and some still do believe, that animals are purely reactionary creatures and they have no real personalities? You know how some people like to use that word "anthropomorphize" as if only humans can feel certain emotions which those lowly animals couldn't possibly feel? Well, that's bunk. Animals feel everything we feel, maybe in different ways and to different degrees but they feel it all.

I finally saw Simone come slinking out of the shadows of the back room, her head held low, looking deliberately at the ground, taking each step in slo-mo and gingerly like she was walking on glass, avoiding eye contact, and this despite me not having raised my voice, not having said a single thing, not having ever, in fact, disciplined her for garbage diving - because she had never done that before, not that I would discipline her for that anyway - and while one part of me was quite worried about the night ahead, another part of me was amused and thinking this had to be the most ridiculously overwrought display of guilt I'd ever seen.

It actually took at least a day before Simone behaved normally with me again. At first, it was the guilt. Even after I told her everything was okay, even then she continued to mope around me but as the moping continued into the night, I'm not sure when the guilt stopped being the root cause of it and nausea took over that role.

In the night, after I'd fallen asleep, Simone barfed twice on her main bed before she got up and moved to her bed in the study which she then barfed on as well before she started pacing around because there were no more beds for her upstairs. She must be an exceptionally quiet barfer because I hadn't heard a thing. It was her pacing which woke me up.

I turned on the light and at first I thought Simone needed to go outside but then I saw her main bed and then I saw the other bed and I understood why she wasn't lying in either one.

Simone had barfed out thick puddles of liquid fat with pale brown and grey/green chunks of partly digested/rotten food floaters which had congealed into semi-solid off-white pancakes.

I looked at Simone and I said, "Simone ..." and she looked sadly at the floor and I looked at the mess and I looked at the clock and I looked at Simone and I looked at the mess and I looked at my bed and I looked at the mess and I looked at Simone.

New experience: standing hunched over in the bath tub scraping and scrubbing greasy, disgusting crud out of bedding at 3:30 in the morning.

Forty five minutes later, Simone was on a third bed I'd made up for her from towels and waterproof pads. I was lying in my own bed just about to turn off the bed side lamp and Simone looked up at me, obviously not happy with her makeshift towel mattress, and she had her "Can I sleep up in your bed" look on her face with that slightly hopeful wagging of her tail.

"Yeah, right," I said to her and turned off the light and went to sleep.

Simone barfed two more times the next day, greasy messes still but not as congealed as previous. I kept her off food for twenty four hours. She wasn't particularly hungry anyway. The day after that she was back to normal.

Looking at that first pose, with hunched back, front feet turned slightly in, beseeching eyes, you must understand how incredibly hard it was to not wrap this pup up in a big thick blanket, bring her home and feed her doggie bon bons forever.

But maybe that's best left up to one of you?

(note: Maxy has been transferred up to Toronto Animals Services North)

You can see more of Maxy at the Toronto Animal Services adoption website or call (416)338-8723 for the Toronto Animal Services North shelter. If Maxi is no longer on the TAS adoption website, it's probably because she's been adopted already.

A few days ago, I posted about Sunny, a very friendly German Shepherd cross (who was adopted from TAS very shortly after he was made available) and in the post I wrote that the shelter where Sunny came from had no adoption program. I have now been informed differently that this particular shelter actually does have an adoption program, which I'm very glad to hear.

This retraction (the original post has also been revised) might seem like a minor thing, especially since I've never known the name or location of the shelter and so, obviously, never published it, but I think it's important to note the staff at the shelter felt strongly enough to contact TAS about the error. To me, this effort shows they are invested in seeing good outcomes for their exported dogs.

So, please accept my apologies, whoever you may be, for the mistake and I wish success in your adoption program and I hope your relationship with TAS continues to be a beneficial one for saving the lives of future homeless dogs.

Tina and Troy are two very lucky and loved dogs. From their new owner, already three updates:

Update 1

That's Troy in back. Poor guy doesn't know yet how good it's all going to be. 

Hi James (did I get your name right?).

We made it home...they slept all the way. They have been out for 3 walks and went up the stairs. My boy pooped & peed a few times. She has peed only. He ate well, she hasn't. The have had a roam around, but most head right back to their crate.

I am sleeping on the couch tonight, just to be sure they can get through the night.

The sold sign is up in my heart where they both have claimed a stake! I adore them!

Thank you SO much for all you have done & do for animals! Many thanks.

Update 2

Well, my two seemed to make out okay while I went to Work for the morning.

As soon as I got home, I took them out to the terrace and they peed. I have had a few small accidents inside the house, but nothing that bothers me at all. They have done really well. She finally started to eat at noon today.

They are having some free time roaming and checking out the place and they happily go back to their crate.

I wish it wasn't so darn cold for them as it is so bitterly cold when we go outside. I have them both on a leash now and a lead and they are doing pretty good. If it wasn't so intolerably cold outside, I think we will be going for very long walks in the near future.

Thank you again for all of your advice and help, it is really made it easy for this last 24 hours for me and for them. They are even playing a little bit with the toys.

I hope your day is well and God bless.

Update 3

I cannot believe how great these two are! You did a great job!

A wonderful letter from the owner of Elton (now Teddy):

I am so happy with the wonderful treatment I received from the Toronto Animal Services. James was excellent, honest, funny, caring and accommodating. The other lady I saw on Jan 11th was excellent in communicating some needed information re another dog that affected my decision to adopt him. She had black hair and was great.

I’d like to say after exactly 48 hours of Teddy (aka Elton) being in his NEW HOME, Teddy (aka Elton) has made a fabulous adjustment since being adopted at 12 noon on Thurs. Jan. 17, 2013. He is affectionate beyond words and has greeted his public in Oakville (my friends) with whom he behaved as if they were his long lost relatives.

He has not barked once (Yay!!!). He has a voracious appetite. He poops outside (4 times). I know you really needed to know this info.

I realize he just may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but that’s okay since I have a specialist degree in Teaching Slo Learners. We’re up to 30 repeats of sit but we’re still working on it!

He’s getting groomed (with permission) this pm so he’ll now look even better.

Thank you so much. I know how lucky I am to get such a wonderful dog. I love him to bits already and can’t simply understand someone not going to any length to locate this gem. Maybe he was meant for me.

Thank you James so, so so very much. You are well suited and a perfect person for this job. I hope you get a raise! Please let me know if you have any other “small” gems like Teddy B. and I may consider another adoption. (Don’t tell my friends this).

If you are ever having a reunion of the adopted pets or any other such crazy events I’d be happy to come, help or participate even though I’m in Oakville. Keep me in mind. I’m very creative and out there (so some say) and could help reel in the potential adopters, maybe!

Troy is the shy Shih Tzu. He hangs back and watches while Tina has no problems now approaching for a pat on the head or a treat. Troy is the one who cries when Tina is taken away. Troy is the one who makes grumbling noises when I get close but when I get too close he runs away.

I know he'll come around. He wants to. He just needs some more time. He's only been out of the puppy mill for a little while.

Toronto Animal Services South is going to try adopting Tina and Troy out together as a bonded pair - at least for now. They might also try to slowly start separating them, see how that goes, because adopting out bonded pairs can be a tough call and there are two other bonded pairs up for adoption already at TAS-East and TAS-West.

Sometimes it might be worth a little heartache if good loving homes can be found for each. We shall see. For now, let's keep our fingers crossed for these two together.

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.

Who knew? On a night like tonight when it's -15C and blustery outside, all that pig shit is going to warm the "kennel" one floor above to at least -15C I'm sure.

The trial against alleged puppy miller Menno Streicher began today at the court at 1 Huron Street in Stratford, Ontario and the defence lawyer was trying to explain why it's okay for the puppy manufacturer to not heat the kennel area with electricity.

(Video above from CTV news article here.)

This trial will directly impact the future of puppy milling in Ontario. A win for Streicher and his supporters at the Ontario Landowners Association will likely mean a dramatic increase in Ontario puppy mills as this province will basically become a safe haven for large scale, abusive companion animal factories. On the other hand, a win for the good guys, means we're all one big step closer to shutting down puppy milling as a viable industry in Ontario.

The excerpt below is from a post by Kimberly Thomas of Kismutt Rescue concerning two puppy mill victims who could not be saved:

"Last year I had to euthanize to adult Great Dane sisters. When I got them out of the mill, they had a body score of 1. After six months here at the facility, they still huddled on top of each other in the corner and would defecate and urinate on each other. They would shake uncontrollably if you tried to approach them. They would jam their faces into the corner and defecate. Six months of this. These two dogs were so badly damaged (insane) from the mill there was no hope of rehabilitation. The kindest thing we could do was euthanize them, and my vet had to come here to do it, as you could not move them."

This is the disease Ontario puppy millers and the OLA continue to support.

The trial continues April 5.

Tina, the first of a bonded pair. One look and you know Tina would be home in no time at all but she came in with Troy and Troy might be a little heart broken if he got split from Tina so TAS-South is going to try finding a home for them together.

Troy tomorrow.

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.

Now that winter is actually here, at least for a few days, I have to be careful with dogs like Snowy who start to shake as soon as I get them outside. Even with the jacket, Snowy is almost immediately cold. He puts on a brave face but the all over body shivering gives him away. I snap a few photos then quickly bring him back inside where he shows himself to be a lovely and affectionate little dog. And I'm sure he'll be much better dealing with the cold once his hair grows back from being shaved (to remove the huge tangle of mattes he came in with).

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.

I'm at the table and I'm eating Christmas butter cookies and lime-flavoured tortilla chips and Simone is lying on the couch. I give her one of the chips. Yes, it's probably bad for her but it's probably bad for me too so that somehow balances things out.

Simone takes the chip and she walks to the other end of the couch with it just in case I change my mind and try to snatch it back from her. She's not exactly sure what it is so she nibbles on it while one eyeball stays focused on me.

"Momo, you're such a goof," I say and she wags her tail at that.

I watch her and slowly my mind drifts and I start to think about the emails I should be writing. I think about the supper I should start preparing (as opposed to eating chips and cookies). I think about the wheel I need to re-attach to my bicycle. I think about the deadlines at work tomorrow. I think about the revisions I need to do on the house plans. I think about the kitchen floor which I should mop. I think about the people I need to call.

I move over to the couch and sit down. Simone has finished her one tortilla chip so she steps over and puts a paw on my shoulder. I lean my head back and sink into the cushions and close my eyes.

From the owner of Pugglay, now Tucker:

My wonderful pup has been renamed Tucker. He is doing really well. So far I think I have a quiet, relaxed dog here! He has slept a lot. I haven't left him alone yet, so we will see how that goes today, as I do have to go out this afternoon.

But he has made himself at home, as you will see from the attached pics.

Yesterday we took the streetcar and went to my office and he was SO good. We then met my friend and her dog and again, he played nice with the other dog and was very good!

Thanks for your help! Tucker and I are going to have a good life together.

If you want to keep in touch, I am happy to keep you updated with his training and send pics for time to time.

This guy seems to be sporting some Papillon ears on top of that Yorkie face which is just piling irresistible on top of irresistible. I doubt he'll last the weekend before being snatched up.

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.

I always find it endearing when a dog has a perpetually worried look on its face. Sunny shouldn't be worried, though. He's a handsome lad with a great personality and I'm sure he'll be quick into a home.

Sunny is a transfer from a pound outside of Toronto where he would've had a hard time being adopted out. That would've been a shame because then he would never have been given a chance to enrich someone's life with his wonderful disposition.

Elton could be the brother to Princess: same colouring, same size, but Princess has still got Elton beat in the snaggle tooth department, though Elton's no lightweight himself.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, so I'm sure there are lots of people out there who prefer the more sophisticated and subtle one-sided snaggle tooth over both sides.

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.

Molly is a German Shepherd Collie mix with a different set of challenges from yesterday's dog, Bella. No one has ever house trained Molly. She continues to soil her kennel almost as if she's thinking that's what's expected of her. Perhaps she spent her life in a crate or a garage or an outdoor run - who knows. She's a smart girl, though so I don't think house training will be difficult but for the first few days in a new home, someone will have to spend a dedicated amount of time with her, keeping an eye on her, showing her the proper way to do things. Ideally, her new home will have a backyard for ease of training but also because the other possibility is that Molly just doesn't like doing her business when on a leash (I've had dogs like that).

Molly can also be a little mouthy with hands on her body. She likes the attention but at the same time seems a little unsure of it. After about ten minutes of hands on attention, her mouthiness diminished, possibly as her confidence/trust level in me increased or maybe it was because I stopped petting her and I pulled my hands away every time she touched them with her mouth. Either way, this too doesn't seem like a difficult behaviour to resolve.

Molly is a happy, curious dog. She's smart and she's got a positive energy level which makes me immediately want to say hello to her. She's a well rounded, robust dog who would make an excellent companion for a person who is willing to work with her to sort out a couple of behaviour issues which no one has ever taught her are inappropriate.

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 big pet peeve of mine is when someone oversells a dog to a potential adopter. By oversell, I mean positive personality traits are embellished and negative traits are ignored. This isn't fair to anyone: not to the adopter, not to the dog, not the to shelter.

The descriptions of the dogs on this blog are purposely vague and not detailed because I want people to have their own list of questions when they ask about a particular dog if they're interested (I hope it's obvious to most readers that I'm not providing a complete checklist of personality traits on each dog I feature. I mean, usually I don't even state what sex or age a dog is, though the sex may be obvious from the name). I also have a fair degree of confidence that the staff at Toronto Animal Services South will be forthcoming in discussing any relevant history and issues behind any dog to interested parties.

I'm not talking about minor issues which might be overlooked but bigger ones like whether or not a dog is house-trained, whether or not it is dog/cat friendly, whether or not it has noticeable underlying health issues, etc. Whenever major issues are minimized or hidden from adopters and a person takes the dog home and discovers the dog is a chronic indoor marker (or perhaps incontinent), for example, that just puts the dog and owner in a possibly untenable situation and quite often, the dog gets returned to the adopting agency. Every one loses.

The staff at TAS-South take full disclosure seriously but I'm sure that anyone who has been involved in dog rescue long enough has heard of situations where full disclosure wasn't given and adoptions ended badly.

So here's Bella, a German Shepherd cross.

Within ten minutes of walking this girl she had pulled out of her collar from jerking and jumping around, ripped off the lower branches on a few trees she walked by, dug a one foot hole in the ground so she could try to eat something she smelled in there, tried to pull out a tree root, chewed on anything which looked like it would fit in her mouth and wasn't solidly connected to the ground, munched on my fingers when I gave her treats. When I got her back to the shelter and had momentarily turned my back to her as I was marking her walk time down on the white board, she stuck her head into the trash bucket beside us and started eating a two foot length of gauze. Luckily, extremely luckily, James saw this and pulled it out of her mouth. She had already just been through one surgery to remove an internal blockage.

All of these behaviours from Bella, except for the last one where I was inattentive, could have been stopped or controlled by me but I wanted to see what she was like when left to her own devices because I didn't quite believe what people had been saying about her.

Bella will be a difficult dog to adopt out.

But having said all that, I believe Bella is a highly trainable dog. She is food motivated, she can focus, she is intelligent, she enjoys human companionship, and at the core, I believe her crazy energy is not from some sort of canine ADHD (well, maybe just a bit) but from being couped up all day for pretty much her whole life and being in the shelter doesn't really alleviate any of that. I believe this because after about twenty minutes of walking her, she started to settled down.

I like Bella. I see her behaviour as super enthusiasm for every thing she does but I know the obstacles to adoption she will face because of those behaviours. The challenge will be to find an adopter who can see the positives and is able and willing to work through the negatives.

UPDATE (March 17, 2013) on Bella here.

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.