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I left for Serbia on April 29. While there, I encountered many strays.  Some were shy; most were curious and friendly.  None of them posed any kind of threat which is how they are often maligned.  I arrived back in Toronto a week later with two dogs, Betty and Oscar.  Here are some photos of the trip.

Betty, whose leg was broken and never set properly.  This girl came back with me to Canada.

For the first few days, I stayed with Snezana and her family along with their nine rescued dogs.

Leia, a Staffordshire Terrier, matriarch of Snezana's rescues.  A lovely dog.

The bear dog, one of several stray dogs encountered a few blocks from Snezana's home.  This one followed us back but turned away when the dogs in her backyard started barking at him.  A few days later, after I'd returned to Canada, he would return to wait for Snezana in front of her house.

This beautiful Pointer was too scared to let us get close.  He ran away from us in a frenzy, probably still looking for the owner who had recently abandoned him.

Playing, not fighting.  The strays didn't look starved and they seemed to have a pretty good life, free and easy on the streets of the Becman, at least until they get hit by a car or disease takes them or winter arrives or the dog hunters show up

Snezana goes out and feeds the stray dogs in her town and the next at least once a day.  Everyone else watches and stares.  "Many people here have backyards and can take a dog but they won't take a dog," she says.  "I send dogs to adoption everywhere else, Austria, U.K., Germany but not here."

Dog dreaming of life

Stray dog along the Sava River

And another

5 Comments to “Serbian Dogs”

  1. Kate says:

    Thanks for posting these. Beautiful and sad.

  2. deva says:

    Thank you for these beautiful photos. Can you please post contact info for the rescue who places these dogs? Many thanks.

  3. deva says:

    Oh dear - My request was very unclear. I meant the rescue who places the dogs in Canada. Thanks

  4. Only4Pets says:

    Much obliged for posting these. Excellent and dismal

  5. Michael says:

    Thanks. This is very inspiring. I hope more people would consider pet adoption, it helps shelters rescue more animals and at the same time give the animals a new home. I have a friend who has 9 cats and a few dogs and most them are strays until she took them in. I just recently got a pet from orange county animal shelter and I'm really happy about it.

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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.