Wednesday, April 25, 2012

UPDATE: $6300+ RAISED! Thank you Toronto! TORONTO HUMANE SOCIETY GARAGE SALE - April 29 - THIS Sunday!!!

Bargains galore!!

Amazing homemade baked goods and Starbucks Coffee (Thank you Tony! From 81 Front Street Starbucks for your generousity!)

We have TONS of pet supplies - toys, beds, dog-loo and more!

We have BOXES and BOXES of books!

We have household items GALORE!!

Starting at NOON, this coming Sunday, April 29 - to be held in the ... GARAGE!!  Just head down toward the back of 11 River Street and you can't miss us!!

While you're at the NEW and IMPROVED THS - come in and visit! Open House is also going on. Meet the pups and the kitties and all the bunnies and birds!

We are talking FUN and BARGAINS!

Hope to see you there!

Monday, April 16, 2012

How much for that doggy in the window....

 Too much.  Not just the cost of the pup itself - bought via kijji or some other social network or through a pet store... but too much in terms of the suffering experienced by that pup's parents.  It astonishes me that people continue to contribute to puppy mills by buying puppies from stores or sight unseen over the internet.  Do they ever think about where that pup came from?

Meet Camilla, one of three dogs I brought to the THS from Quebec yesterday.  Little Camilla was rescued by non-profit dog rescue organization Animatch.  Founded in 1999 by Helen Lacroix, the centre provides an invaluable service in a province which is infamous for its puppy mills.  Camilla was one of 100 dogs rescued from a mill in Lachute.  Frightened, unsocialized, in poor health and with no understanding of what it meant to be loved, Animatch has done an absolutely superb job of teaching this little girl that there are good humans in the world.

Camilla is still uncertain, still frightened but with a little encouragement she quickly opens up and her sweet, loving personality begins to shine.  Camilla epitomizes the very best qualities of what it means to be a dog; despite being kept in horrendous conditions, caged for most of her 8 years, forced to have litter after litter then suffer the heartbreak of having them taken away long before they were ready, Camilla is willing to trust again. Camilla is willing to love. Camillia, despite what has been done to her, is eager to embrace and adore.  With a little gentle encouragement, she soon crawled onto my lap, and my heart twisted as she nestled up against me, laying her little head against my chest, somehow willing to trust.  Truly, we humans could learn a lot from our four legged companions.

Animatch also sent little Jappy, pictured here (all photos were borrowed from Animatch site - not sure who does their photos but they are awesome! Captures the dogs' personalities perfectly).  Found as a stray and incarcerated in a high kill pound, somehow no one ever came for this adorable bundle of energy and affection. 

Animatch says this guy with the huge personality is terrific with other dogs and despite his size, would make a fantastic jogging partner.  This guy loves to run and as I trotted around the park with him I had to laugh. What is it about Poms?  That luxurient, bouffant hair combined with the foxy face and little legs always remind me of dandelion fluff ... and like dandilions they seem to be weightless, floating and leaping and twisting in errant breezes!  Jappy seems to view life as one big adventure and his energy, enthusiasion and adorable nature will - I predict - make his stay in the THS a short one!

The third dog I brought is an adorable girl with an exuberant, loving personality.  Labelled a "labx" she is a medium/small girl with the most endearing "squished" face - it is as if someone took a lab face then sorta pushed it so she ended with a short snout and the sweetest wrinkly forehead!  It occurred to me when I picked her up that every single animal rescue or shelter refers to any dog with semi-floppy ears, a short, solid coloured coat and a solid build as a "labx"- just like any dog with a black and tan coat is somehow a shepherd mix LOL

Joseuay was rescued by Canin du Suroit, a wonderful training and boarding facility in Vaudreuil-Dorion.   Canin du Suroit has a huge heart and despite being a business, always makes room for a certain number of abandoned or discarded dogs. 

It is easy to become discouraged and pessimstic about how society treats helpless creatures.  From puppy mills to cruelty to abandonment and abuse, it can feel like an uphill battles, even a pointless one at times.  It is important to remind ourselves that for every neglectful owner, every heartless backyard breeder, for every nasty person that dumps a dog or mistreats it, there are even MORE people who care - and act on that caring. 

Thank you to Anitmatch and Canin du Suroit and welcome to Toronto and your soon to be forever homes Camilla, Jappy and Joseuay.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

MAXI-mum pup

Not the best picture of a fesity, adorable little guy but Maxi, in person, will capture your heart.  Technically, he's barely grown - at just over a year he still has all that puppy exuberance, mixed with shyness and an obvious need for gentle handling and patience.

What strikes me about this little guy is that he is just figuring out how to actually walk - which tells me in his previous life, someone bought a pup as an accessory and forgot to let him be a dog.

One of my pet peeves is the lavish adoration of celebrities who are either unaware or don't give a damn how silly unthinking fasionistas emulate them.  Puppy as accessory. Dog as toy. 

Small breeds like the Chihuahua are particularly prone to being victimized together with Yorkies and other "toy" dogs.  First, there is NO SUCH thing as  a 'teacup' dog - what you're buying if that is what the "breeder" (and it would be a backyard one as no legitimate breeder would pretend such a breed exists) has created - often at a terrible expense to the dog in terms of mental, physical and emotional health.  A blog called Barktopia puts it very well here - in short, they explain that what you are buying or seeking is a premature pup which will most likely come with a host of issues.

Now size aside, a dog is a dog is a dog and SHOULD be allowed to be such. Which means, LET the dog WALK ... Maxi above with a lot of help, patience and loving on the part of staff and volunteers is finally figuring out what being a dog IS.   Which is one of the things I am loving about the new THS - their willingness, enthusiasm and expertise with "fixing" the dogs that have been messed up by igorance - sometimes malicious, sometimes just dumb.

Simply becuase a dog is small does not mean he does not possess all the natural instincts of his bigger cousins.  That means he needs regular walks, stimulation and the chance to explore his world on his own feet.  It means he must and should be trained in the same way and to the same standards as a  larger dog.  Manners are manners whether you're 5 lbs or 105 lbs.

Maxi's nature is clearly one that is affectionate, bright and full of a boundless curiousity.  A California rescue group beautifully captures the nature of the dog (which may surprise some people):

The Chihuahua, the most ancient canine breed in the North American Continent, traces its origins back approximately 3,000 years. In its infancy as a breed, the Chihuahua was kept as companion dog of Aztecan royalty- analogous to the reverence of cats in the parallel Egyptian culture of the Pharaohs. .... Chihuahuas were companions to kings, which explains their noble, fiercely loyal and possessive attachment to their masters, which perseveres to this day along with the same alertness, devotion and intelligence.
And a chihuahua allowed to be a dog is a wonder indeed.

Maxi is a small, feisty, loving and energetic dog who deserves a great home.  Come down to the THS and meet him in person and while you're there, meet all the other wonderful animals for adoption!

Hades update (of sorts)

I've written a couple of blogs about Hades, the rottie cross that ended up languishing in a cage at Toronto Animal Services South.  According to TAS personnel, who I contacted a couple of weeks after the initial article came out in February, Hades was transferred to an undisclosed rescue group (yeah for TAS letting him go to a group and DOUBLE kudos to Justice Lynette Stethem who resurrected Hades' case in the first instance). 

Interestingly, I was contacted by some individuals who were well acquainted with Hades and their recollections were of a warm, loving dog, who was put in a situation where he was provoked. 

For those interested, please have a look at the original blog where the comments can be read.

Thank you Brittany and Synth for giving us a glimpse into a sad dog's past.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Latest information here.  Apparently the dog has nerve damage but is not actually in any "pain". First, if that is the situation, then the guy is REALLY a doucebag to use a disabled dog to garner funds he obviously is NOT using for the dog. Secondly, how can the dog NOT be in any pan, knuckling under his foot as he does CANNOT be comfortable and must cause at the least, some kind of road burn...  I would appreciate the OSPCA being a little clearer on this - I've never know nerve damage like that- but I'm not a vet- however, as noted, I can't understand how that can be comfortable for the dog ...

The OSPCA is seeking any information about the dog caputured with his owner on this video.  This dog is VERY badly injured... his right front paw looks completely broken and the dog is patantly and obviously in terrible distress.  The sign on the panhandler's back says he needs $2000 for the dog's operation.

I am NOT bashing homeless for having pets.  Contrary to a lot of individuals who feel you have to have a certain income before you "qualify" as a responsible pet owner, many homeless individuals take exemplary care of their pets.  Sam, my trainer, has noted many times that some of the best adjusted dogs he has seen are homeless pets as a truly symbiotic relationship exists between these individuals and the animals they love.  There is a true reciprocal relationship.

I do wish we had a program similar to that in Montreal where vets have banded together to provide a wonderful pro bono program to the pets of the street people and homeless youth.

However, this dog needs IMMEDIATE attention. Walking the dog around seeking funds for his operation is simply not an acceptable course of action.  I cringe when I think of the damage being done to an already horrible injury.

It's no big secret I'm not a fan of the OSPCA (whose euthanasia rate is outrageous), so I would highly recommend that anyone sighting or having knowledge of this dog and his owner should contact Toronto Animal Services 416-338-PAWS (7297) OR the Toronto Humane Society 416.392.2273.

Hell, email me and I'll find SOMEONE that will deal with this situation and get that poor dog some help!