From New York Times, November 2, 2014, Dog Meat Trade in Thailand Is Under Pressure and May Be Banned:

“Dogs are man’s best friend,” said Kawai Thanthongdee, 66, who has been eating dogs since he was young and is Mr. Praprut’s father-in-law. “But some dogs deserve to be killed.” And eaten, apparently.

This is the reality into which Khao was born and in which she lived for the first few years of her life. She was saved from the hammer and knife when she was rescued by Soi Dog Foundation in Thailand and brought over by her sponsor. She's been in Toronto for three weeks now and despite her mid-length coat, shivers in the damp November chill as she's still adjusting to the weather and the first winter of her life.

I walk with her a bit but in the short time I have, I can hardly get her to even look at me, especially with the camera lens staring at her face. She's a very shy girl. It's no surprise, given her past, that she's a little wary of strangers.

Especially men, her foster, tells me. I look at her peaking out from between her foster's feet. Khao's obviously bonded with Farah.

How long did that take? I ask.

Overnight, Farah replies.

Such is the trust inherent in Khao towards humans, waiting to express itself, despite all experience telling her to do otherwise.




If you're interested in meeting or adopting Khao, she will be at Kennel Cafe (295 Roncesvalles Av, Toronto, ON M6R 2M3 (416) 531-3177) today, Sunday November 22, in the afternoon between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. You can also call her adoption coordinator, Lynda, at 416 538 8559, email: garden538@yahoo.ca.



Prancer hops around when excited but settles nicely once the adventure is over. It took him a whole five minutes to bond with Tofu, the Chihuahua from a few days ago, then he started crying when Tofu kept walking and we stayed behind for photos. This guy would likely do well in a house with a compatible dog.

Whoever takes Prancer, you already know you're going to put Christmas reindeer antlers on him, don't you?





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.



Tofu has fur soft as a bunny and makes squeaky noises but only if he likes you. He also rolls on dried liver treats before eating them. Not suitable for guard dog work.





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 the 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.



Hope is lying in the window of Kennel Cafe beside her friend Khao who seems to be getting all the attention. They're both up for adoption but Khao is a snowy white dog with the demeanor of a shy fawn. Hope, on the other hand, is all about greeting people and licking hands and exploring the store. Different personalities garner different responses and today, Khao gets most of the attention. By the end of the afternoon, there are two applications handed in for Khao and none for Hope.

Both dogs are far away from where they were born. Khao is from Thailand via Soi Dog and a private sponsor who brought her here to Toronto. Hope is from Serbia via Free Fly, a Serbian rescue organization which tries to place dogs outside of Serbia, and here in Toronto she is being fostered by Connect-a-Pet.

None of this matters to the dogs, of course. There is sunlight beaming through the window. There are snacks. There are friendly hands. They've both adjusted well to a new place where people are no longer the enemy.

I ask Liisa, who is with Connect-a-Pet, if I can take some photos of Hope. We go outside, around a corner, to get away a bit from the bustle of Roncevalles. Hope is curious outside but also a little wary. Maybe the noise and crowds remind her of where she came from. I bring out the snacks and the squeaky toy and she starts to focus on those things and then she is fine. By the end of the photo shoot, which lasts maybe fifteen minutes, Hope is shivering from the cold and seems glad to be scooped up back into Liisa's arms.

"She needs a turtleneck," Liisa says.





If you're interested in adopting Hope and buying her a turtleneck, here is her info from Connect-a-Pet:

10 months old, 17 lbs, jack / heeler cross.

She is spayed, vaccinated and has had bloodwork done and is in good health.

She walks fine on leash but can pull at times. She is initially timid of larger dogs but will be fine if introduced properly and slowly. She's great with smaller dogs.

She likes older children who won't chase her and enjoys cuddling with everyone she meets.

She has lived with dogs in her foster home and enjoys playing with them. She would be fine living with another dog or being the only one. She ignores cats.

She can be skittish and should be monitored with open doors. Recall is not perfected yet so should be kept on leash.

She isn't a '"barker" and is fine left alone and is crate trained.

Loves attention and cuddling. She's a very affectionate little gal and treat/food motivated so will do well with positive reinforcement training.

You can email Connect-a-Pet at contactconnectapet@gmail.com for any additional inquiries on Hope.





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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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