Chloe looks like a mini white lion. She's another shy one but not so shy that if you're calm and patient she won't come by for a sniff and snuggle.




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.



When I set Bianca down on the asphalt, she just stood there, not sure what to do. I picked her up and put her down on the grass and she just stood there again. She was still a little shell-shocked from the puppy mill rescue, not sure what to do with the big wide world outside the cage she lived in her whole life.

I think she'll come around, though. You give her your love, she'll give you her trust and she'll come around.





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 poor little puppy mill rescue Poodle is the shyest I've ever met. Harmony stared at me dolefully from the back of the kennel and just shook as I put the leash on her. Then outside, as soon as I set her down, she ran up against the wall and flattened herself behind some tall weeds. When I lifted her out of there, she crawled under some bushes. No point traumatizing her anymore on that outing so I let her recover there. Eventually, she relaxed a little and started looking around, sniffing the air.

I don't know how long it's going to take for Harmony to come out of her shell but even if she never becomes a crowd-loving extrovert, she'll make someone a very cuddly, round the house companion.





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.



Billie Jean never should have been at TAS for as long as she was, every day getting more and more stressed, more and more reactive. She's another example of how a dog in a shelter may exhibit problem behaviour but once brought into a calm, stable and nurturing environment, her true personality comes out (Molly and Bella are two other recent examples). I'm very happy for this girl.

From the new owners of Billie Jean, now Mady:

I am happy to report that Mady has settled in quit nicely. I took her for a bike ride when I got her home she was so happy to have some freedom by the end of the day she was in our unfenced yard off leash with other dogs walking by on the road and she had minimal reaction we just had to tell her no and she did not attempt to go after the other dogs. I certainly did not think when I brought her home that she would turn around this quickly the following day she met another dog on our evening walk and was introduced without incident.

I took her for a kayak ride this morning and although she is unsure of water she trusts that I will protect her and she was happy to be in a boat on top of the water. We have planed a camping trip for next weekend and I will be sure to send you some pictures. Thanks again for trusting that I would be a good fit for her your judgement was right on.

P.S. Cats were not a problem for either side.







Lily may not be a spritely dog but she's the most active of the three Pugs recently arrived at Toronto Animal Services South which meant that when I took her outside, she actually sort of enjoyed her walk, at least for a while, and then she wanted to be carried around just like her two other Pug companions. Her uncertainty with the outdoors may also have something to do with her living in a kennel for most of her life, although, seriously, if I had a choice between walking or being carried around by a giant ten times my size, I might go for the giant.





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.



Nicki is one of three Pugs recently rescued from a "breeder". If you're guessing from the look of her face that she might be a bit of a wheezer, you'd be right. It doesn't stop her from being a happy little girl, though she's not going to be running any marathons.

Lily's had enough of living in cage all her life. She'd now very much like to be someone's squeeze Pug.






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.



After an afternoon of walking some fairly timid and somewhat shell-shocked puppy mill rescues, it was a pleasant change of pace to spend some time with this pink nosed Pit Bull Lab mix, Rosebud. She's super friendly and courteous and has a happy-go-lucky attitude which brings a smile to every one she meets.





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.



Wiggle butt.




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.



Goldi is a gentle old girl looking for a retirement home. She's no snoozer, though. She still loves the outdoors, loves her walks. I found she was a little hand shy at first, so I slowed down my approach and she was good.





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.



Lucas is a charmer, balanced on that fine point of adolescence, not having yet outgrown a puppy's wiggle but now with a nose to more serious matters (like who peed on that bush).





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.



That this amazing girl, Billie Jean, isn't adopted yet, doesn't make sense. She may not be instant besties with every dog she meets but so she's picky.

Here's a short video of Billie Jean getting some dancercize training. It's toward the end of the session so her attention is wavering a bit.


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.



Really been looking forward to this one. From the owner of Bella:

I'm in love and I have all of you to thank for such an amazing companion.

I can't explain how overjoyed I am. I'm at a point in my life where I wanted a dog, but didn't know if I would have the time to train a puppy and be there every hour to let it out.

Then I meet Bella. She sits, lays down, gives a paw all on command, takes treats gently and she doesn't bark! She can sleep in her crate with the door open at night and she doesn't get into trouble. When I'm in the kitchen eating or cooking, she doesn't beg which is incredible.

Only downside thus far has been going for walks. At first she was in charge, but I was recommended to use a gentle leader which has already started to kick the pulling habit. She's also had a tough time around other dogs so what I've started to do is meet up with the couple and dog that I used to watch, and we walk side by side with the leashes on so she can get used to being in the presence of other dogs... This is a work in progress but she's still young - Each day it gets better.

Thanks again for all the hard work you've put into Bella, I'm truly appreciative to have her.







Lose one
Well, I thought I gave a pretty good speech, if I do say so myself, at the Toronto Humane Society Annual General Meeting this past Tuesday but it was all for naught as I didn't get elected onto the board of directors. Apparently, the decision was mostly made before the AGM even started by mail-in ballots and from the two hundred or so proxy votes brought in by the women of the Next Steps slate from new THS members they had signed up. Two hundred new members is a good chunk of new supporters so good job Next Steps! The Next Steps crew won the majority of the six available seats and have obviously got political savvy and membership drive skills so let's hope this new bloc bodes well for the THS. Let's hope they bring in renewed energy and some good ideas without the additional turmoil of partisan politics.

I admit a big part of me is relieved I wasn't selected. During my time on the board in the few months previous to the AGM, I was fishing around for how I could be most useful and I started thinking about plans for supporting and advancing communications at the THS, how to get their message out to the public, essentially. Any such plans, however, would have taken up a large investment of my time for the next three years (the term length of a THS board member), time which I can now selfishly dedicate to more personal concerns. However, if the occasion arises, I hope to be able to continue to profile some of the dogs at the THS. I really enjoyed the time I spent with some of the great staff and animals there, short though it was.

Win one
Speaking of more personal concerns, this is off topic of dogs and animal welfare but earlier this year I entered into the Toronto Star short story contest and to my utter amazement, I was selected for first place. There was a nice cash prize along with tuition for the creative writing course at the Humber School for Writers which starts in January 2014 ... which means I have to have a manuscript ready by then ... which means I need to start writing - and even as I write this, I'm already experiencing early writer's block anxiety.

Anyway, if you want to read what I wrote for The Star contest, it's here.



Tequila is a joyous young Husky who is full of all sorts of smiles.





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.





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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.
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