I'm in Rome, in the middle of a heat wave apparently. I feel like a vampire each time I step from the cover of shade into light, burning up under the glare of the Roman sun. I feel sorry for the few dogs I see out, all panting miserably, feet burning up from the black stone roads. One woman had her sheepdog mix just inside a department store. It was lying on the cooler marble floor, but still panting barely able to raise its head. She was petting it and explaining to the security guard that her dog was too hot and had to come inside for a bit. I think he understood and let them be.

There's a historical site - well, pretty much everything and everywhere in Rome is a historical site - called Torre Argentina, where ancient columns and sections of wall still stand. It's an odd bit of land because it's a block in the middle of the city which looks like an archeological dig.


I think it used to be a fairly major temple or something a couple of thousand years ago. Now it's a place where abandoned cats are given sanctuary and it's the center of Rome's largest spay/neuter/release program. It's run by a group of very dedicated women - they are somewhat disparagingly called "gattare" by the locals - who are presently fighting to keep the shelter open under threat of eviction by some city official who doesn't want them squatting there. I'm not going to go into too much more detail because I'm still on vacation but if you're interested, here's their website: www.romancats.com.

Here are some of the cats in residence in the underground, air conditioned room cobbled out of a cavity in the exterior wall from the archeological excavation. Many of the cats look like they've lived a rough life, and a couple are soon coming to their end when they will be euthanized - but not while they can still purr and eat:











Miley walks up to the kennel door, wagging her tail. I open it, clip the leash onto her collar, lead her outside. She walks, sniffs, looks back at me. When I stop, she stops and she comes nearer for a head scratch. When I walk, she walks. When I sit, she sits. when I talk to her, she listens. It's like we've known each forever.





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.



Starkey's got some abandonment issues which results in him barking when he's on his own so he may not be a good candidate for an apartment. When he's around people, though, what a charmer. I know there are lots of condo/apartment dwellers who need a more quiet dog but still, I'm surprised Starkey hasn't been adopted yet by someone who doesn't have to deal with sensitive neighbours.




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 couple of heartworm positive dogs ended up at Toronto Animal Services about a month ago and were fostered out while undergoing treatment. They are now available for adoption and will be adopted out by their foster rescue group, T.E.A.M. Here's Rosie.

From Ashley, at T.E.A.M.:

Rose is gorgeous – she is midnight black with the softest coat. Rose is about 30 pounds and around 2 years of age. Rose was found as a stray and looks as if she has had a litter or two in her lifetime. She is extremely sweet and affectionate and loves being loved. She is silly and loves to play with toys. Rose loves to play especially with other dogs and is great with cats and children. She has an excellent overall temperament - you can feel her love being in her presence and see it in her eyes. Rose deserves someone who knows how to have fun and who will give her a lifetime of love.

Rose is house-trained, up to date with vetting and currently recovering from her heartworm treatment. Please contact Ashley Hyslop (TEAM volunteer) at ashley_hyslop AT hotmail.com for adoption information.






You can meet Rose at the T.E.A.M. Family Fun on the Farm event tomorrow:



A couple of heartworm positive dogs ended up at Toronto Animal Services about a month ago and were fostered out while undergoing treatment. They are now available for adoption and will be adopted out by their foster rescue group, T.E.A.M. Here's Ralph.

From Ashley, at T.E.A.M.:

Ralph is a love bug. He is incredibly laid back, gentle and acts like a big teddy bear. He is approx 3 or 4 years old and gets along great with other dogs and is not bothered by cats. Ralph deserves someone/family who appreciates what a loyal sweetheart he is as he would be a perfect companion for both an active or mellow household. Everyone who spends just 5 minutes with him falls madly in love.

Ralph is house-trained, up to date with vetting and currently recovering from his heartworm treatment. Please contact Ashley Hyslop (TEAM volunteer) at ashley_hyslop AT hotmail.com for adoption information.






You can meet Ralph at the T.E.A.M. Family Fun on the Farm event tomorrow:





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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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