Captain was just a baby when he came, exuberant, happy go lucky and full of a quivering, beautiful energy. He was Rosanna's special pet and would leap, almost as high as the kennel wall when he heard her sweet voice. She and her Captain would go on endless rambles where interesting sniffs, some major hugs and kisses (on both sides) and lots of lovely ball throwing would make his day complete.
There is no question that for many of us, Peti was, remains and will always be the most loving, butt wiggling, face-licking sweetheart that ever existed. An old gentleman, who came back last summer after years of a successful adoption, there is no dog ever that exuded so much sweet energy and love to the world. Last week, I slipped into the room where he and the others had been banned and seeing me, he crawled out of his nest of blankets and came wiggling, quivering, stubby tail wagging, ears tight to his head in exctasy and pressed up against the cage. I am furious at myself that, scared of the ospca security guards who usualy watched every step we took (I was already taking a chance slipping into see them as we were banned), I sat on the other side of the bars, scratching behind his ears and under his big chin, grey muzzle whimpering as I hit the "spot", his whole body lengthwise, pressed as much against me as he could get....
Smokey was the Shelter mascot; our longest canine resident (once our Eddie found a forever home - so you see, even long-term residents DO sometimes find their happy endings). He had the most entrancing, wrinkled, crinkley eared, pig snuffling face that you could ever kiss. He LOVED his toys and would bound with endless delight to the cage door, then dart back, snuffling under his blankets and pile of treasures to find the one that was the current favourite. Then clasped in mouth, he would trot happily by your side to the parks or (once upon a time and by far his favourite activity), a long rambling walk through the streets of Regent Park or along the waterfront. There was not a staff member or volunteer that didn't sneak him a pat, a kiss or a little treat and our Smokey was content in his HOME. While we all desperately wanted a real home for him, he was NOT unhappy nor was his quality of life compromised. Some dogs do not do well in kennels long-term; our Smokey was not one of them.
Boundless energy, steel springs in his hind legs, elegant spats on his front feet (thus his name, Socks), our Socks was Tigger in canine form. Still with some puppy behaviours (mouthing and jumping), he would look at you with his mischievous eyes and look so contrite, you would slip him his very favourite wiener treats. He would bound around the park, leaping and flying into the air simply for the joy of releasing all that boundless energy and loved nothing better than to stretch his wonderful long limbs by running the fence with another dog. Our Socks deserved a future - a future full of long walks, maybe canine agility and lots of love and pats - he had so much to offer in return.
LOOK at that handsome, bold face. Our Tiger.. when I think of him, I think of him standing hopefully by his cage door, brindle body trembling with suppressed energy, his long whippy tail straight up and bent slightly over his back, quivering like an antenna. Full of boundless enthusiasn, a ball afficiando, a runner par excellent, a sports dog who could leap to the top of the strucutre in the second park and whip along its bridge and then with fly out to land and do it all over again. In all the time he was at the THS he never once gave any of us a hard time. High energy, endlessly curious, always up for a run and a long, luxurious butt rub ... our Tiger was the poster boy for a perfect, wonderful pit bull.
Again, I am so grateful to Mel Lading for caputuring the essence of our beauties in this wonderful photography (and for Fred's help in dog handling). For now, it is all we have left.
Now a last and final tribute for the dogs murdered last night is to Janey. Janey was a little pug/terrier mix who reminded me so much of my Mr. Darcy it made my heart ache. Out of all of them, she truly was the only one with some serious issues- not, I refuse to believe irredeemable issues (the progress my Darcy has made in the 4 months I have had him is so remarkable that when my vet saw him yesterday, she said she barely reocgnized him).
Our Janey was frightened ... and like many frightened dogs who had known only unkindness, only abuse, the harsh word, the kick, the smack and the hate - she reacted aggressively. But there was a side to her, when the feral look left her eyes, when you put your fingers through the cage bars and fed her a wiener treat (which she always took gently from me). Outside, she was a wench, demanding and wiful - a 'devil' dog with personality and a charm that was irresistable ... and there were moments where joyful and excited, feeling the soft spring breeze, the fresh air and the delight of play, we got a glimpse of who she could be ... and tragically, will never be.
For more memories of our wonderful dogs, please go here.
Thanks for these wonderful write-ups, Selkie. Please mention that it was actually Mel Laking who took the photos. I only did the dog handling that day.ReplyDelete
I'm so very sorry. This is heartbreaking. I put my thoughts on Fred's blog, but in summary, I can't believe this.ReplyDelete
If all that stood between these dogs and a confirmed placement were some legality of transport logistics, then this conduct by the THS and OSPCA is unjustifiable and unacceptable. I can't marry it with the THS' "new euthanasia policy". It seems to me these animals FINALLY had places to go, willing to take them. They had waited so long, why not a little longer? It might be different if there wer no willing placements for them. But there were? Absolutely incomprehensible.
Selkie, is the "Eddie" you refer to a tall, long-legged, german-sheppard looking mix?
that's our Eddie!! He was one of the longsst-time residnts of THS. Like Smokey, howevr, he become a sheltger pet and we all loved him.We were SO SO happy when a dog walker adoptd him and he has been having a wondrful life since! Our Eddi LOVED his ball!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for the pictures as it was the first time i laughed in 24 hours. They were such nice pictures that i felt i was in front of their face, looking into their eyes and ready to kiss them goodnight.ReplyDelete
My sweet boys...i hope one day we will meet again because i know i will be going to Dog Heaven.
I didn't realize Eddie had been at the shelter for so long... I think he had been adopted and returned, or something...anyway, for what it's worth, he seems to be doing really well. Him mum takes great care of him. It makes me smile, because when I first met him, he and one of my dogs just barked and barked and barked at each other! Just barking, nothing sinister....then all was well.ReplyDelete
Yes - Eddie was returned because he bit. The guy who adopted him kept him in a dark garage for more than 12 hours a day. I guess Eddie didn't like it.....and the smart dog that he is -(the smartest I have ever walked at the THS) he knew when he bites the guy - he is gong to be returned so that he could get his real love to adopt him....so he did! :-)ReplyDelete
JACKIE AND I GAVE SMOKEY HIS LAST COOKIES IN THE AFTERNOON. WOULD NEVER HAVE GUESSED IT WOULD BE THE LAST TIME. WILL MISS DEARLY MY 6 FELLOWS. SORRY JANEY TO HAVE CALLED YOU MY DEVIL DOG! WHY KILL BEAUTIFUL LIVING CREATURES AS YOU WERE WITH EACH OF YOU HAVING A SPECIAL PERSONALITY TAHT TOUCHED THE HEART OF EVERY DOGWALKER DOMINIQUE ROUSSELLEReplyDelete
I wrote about this earlier today (on examiner.com) and included a link to your beautiful tribute.
And the saddest thing for Janey is that we were never given an opportunity to try to help her. We offered to pay a trainer. She deserved a chance....ReplyDelete
I had her out a few times (actually she was the reason I got suspended for two weeks, because I took her out without permission) She really never gave me any problems. A bit toy and food possessive, but nothing out of the ordinary. She got unfortunately worse under the no-volunteers-walking rule because we could not socialize her and of course non of the staff (racing to get the dogs) out worked with her. I am so sorry Janey that you never even got the chance to show your true self under this heartless regime....ReplyDelete
Janey reminded me so much of Darcy; thank god I got him out of that hellhole before the storm guards moved in. I believe, implicitly, like you, that with some work, Janey would have learned to interact properly. After 4 months with Darcy, it is astonishing how many strides we've made.ReplyDelete
I live in Northern Ontario and have been following this circus for awhile now. It draws parallels, albeit on a larger scale, with our own HS. A power hungry board of directors, in it for prestige and name recognition and not for the animals. My heart broke as I read your loving tributes. There was no reason for this mass murder, none at all. It brought me back to the day I wuit volunteering at the HS here, for a much similar reason. I am so sorry for your loss, and I hope that things will change for the better.ReplyDelete
sorry, writing angry does things to my spelling!
Garth Jerome's letter to everyone doesn't clarify anything. It only makes me shake my head why anyone would ever surrender an animal to THS in the future.ReplyDelete
My sweet monkey (captain), thats what i used to call him. My journey has been hard, waking up each morning faced with the reality of life without your sweet face. For you, maybe it is easy because you are in doggie heaven and now you are free to run and play with the other dogs. You were just a puppy but for me its hard to foget what you went through. Those four last weeks that i could not walk you, take you to see the ducks, play by the water, climb the rolling hills or just sit peacefully with one another, holding each other like best friends, was very hard for both of us.ReplyDelete
Going to the protest helped alleviate all the pain i was holding in my heart. I feel so much better because they tried to sweep you under the rug but i told our story to the world. Now you are famous (they know you are a good kisser too) my sweet boy!
Always you will be in my heart and every time i want to see you i will close my eyes and i will see your sweet face. One day i know when my life passes, you will be waiting for me. Love you and i will be waiting for you in my dreams!
Tiger, my beloved dog, one more day without you. I know you dont want me to cry but it is so hard not to see you anymore. For so long we were best friends and had so many happy times. When i use to touch you, i felt the love you had for me and these were the most precious moments of my life.ReplyDelete
I promise you that i would stay to the end and i did and thats why i am so hurt because i could not protect you from those people. This is why you would see me crying everyday. We knew the end was approaching and that any day could be the last day. That day came and that is why i am so hurt, because i could not save you.
You were so young with so mnay years ahead of you. But i know where you are there is no hate, only love. Finally you are free.
I am writing from Wisconsin and discovered this story on Facebook this morning. I don't even know where to begin over how heartbroken and infuriated I am over the unneccessary deaths of your sweet friends. Shame on the involved parties for what they have done. How they could even consider themselves representatives of a "Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals" or "Humane Society" is mind-boggling to me. Their actions showed to be neither humane nor acting in a manner which prevents cruelty. Quite the opposite.ReplyDelete
I only hope that if anything good can come from this, that it arrives in the form of a new group of board members, actually committed to the cause for which they are supposed to support. Also, that it further publicizes the reason these resources exist, to truly protect animals and educate the public in compassion and respect.
Thank you for sharing your tributes and the portraits. I am so sorry for your loss.
Hugs to you,
Andi H., Milwaukee, WI
Dear dogs, I've been thinking of you every day this long week: Smokey Bear, with your quizzical homely-beautiful face and your insane passion for squeaky toys; Peti-Sweetie, who'd nibble my fingers in hopes they'd turn out to be wiener treats (and whaddyaknow, they magically did); Tiger, whose gaze held so much longing, it was sometimes hard to bear; Socks the scamp, who loved playing catch-me-if-you-can in the park and most of the time we couldn't; Captain, gorgeous young boy who grew up behind bars, thank goodness you had a guardian angel in Rosana; and Janey, whose fears made her sometimes fierce, but she was starting to learn to trust.ReplyDelete
Dear dogs, I miss you. I mourn you.
Living in Quebec, I contacted them twice last year when I decided to adopt pitbull rescues and my calls were never returned.ReplyDelete
I used to dog walk at THS and have not been in since the OSPCA .............I just found out today about the dogs that were murdered!! I knew those dogs, there was nothing wrong them. I am heartbroken.....I can only imagine how their walkers are feeling. What you have done is so disgusting. I can't believe this.ReplyDelete
I will never step foot in there again.
Dear sweet angel dogs,ReplyDelete
I never met you but your dogwalkers have allowed me to have a glimpse into your sweet souls. Wherever you are now, I hope that you can feel how sorely you are missed here on earth and how so many people loved you so dearly.
There is no question that you deserved better than what the OSCPA gave you.
Dear dogwalkers, there is misinformation circulating that the only placement these dogs had lined up was some unknown rescue in the US that agreed to take the pups without first evaluating them. If any of you are personally aware of local foster homes that were willing to take these pups before they were killed, then please ensure that the public is made aware of this. Right now, some reputable Toronto rescuers believe that the only option for these pups was one unknown questionable US rescue.
My heart goes out to all of you during this dark time of loss and grief.
I want to thank each and every volunteer shelter dog walker. You are truly angels for the animals and on behalf of animal lovers everywhere, thank you for giving animals your time, your compassion and most importantly, your heart. Your task is a most emotionally difficult one.
Misinformation indeed. First, the "unknown" rescue was in the process of being checked out by my sister- an American resident who has been involved in collie rescue for more than 15 years. Second, Tiger, Smokey AND Peti all had offers of adoption - by reputable people known to the THS (all dogwalkers or former dog walkers who were old friends of these dogs). Further, volunteers (including myself) had offered to go personally to check out teh rescue ...ReplyDelete
Thanks for setting the records straight.
I don't understand why reputable local Toronto rescues (I will not name names as I dont want to start singling people out) are under the impression that the OSPCA did everything it could for these sweet pitties and that the rescue in the US was a questionable one that agreed to take the dogs without evaluating them first? Is this latter point true - i.e. did the rescue agree to take the dogs without evaluating them first?
I sent out an email to rescues and all people on my list posting this link and stating that the THS murdered these 6 dogs in the subject line. My email was met with disgust, I was told to get my facts straight and I was told that the OSPCA did the responsible thing and humane thing because these pups would be a danger if out in the general public, and a life in the kennel was inhumane.
I was also told that this US rescue was questionable because "no reputable rescue would agree to take in dogs that they have not yet evaluated."
I am so disheartened to read that local rescues support the decision of the OSPCA and see this as humane euthanasia rather than murder.
Your first hand info needs to reach mass audiences because right now, it is not really known to many people. How can we make it common knowledge?
MY heart goes to all of you. I cannot imagine the turmoil you are feeling.
Although I have not been into the THS since just before it was closed by THE OSPCA...ReplyDelete
I was a volunteer dog walker there for many months and met most of the wonderful, dedicated people who are posting these comments about their beloved dogs.
Everything they say about them is true. I walked some of those dogs, Captain & Smokey. They were sweet, beautiful loving dogs. They certainly did not deserve what happened to them. My heart is breaking for them and their dedicated walkers and caregivers who showed them affection, kindness, love and understanding. I am so so sorry their precious lives were treated with such disrespect and cruelty..........I see nothing at all HUMANE in how they were treated. And so much worse is that they were kept for a time from the people who loved them!! How confused and sad they must have been. May these beautiful dogs finally find Peace and the ones who loved them find comfort in knowing you were the ones who showed them love and compassion in this world.
I would like to know which local rescues were asked to come to the aid of these dogs and which one of these rescues actually lifted a finger to help, and which ones did not.ReplyDelete
I want to make sure that my charitable dollars are only going to the rescues that actually tried to help these animals.
I understand if nobody wishes to call out names publicly so please email me if you are willing and able to provide me with the names of any rescues that actually tried to help these sweet angels.
I am pulling my support from THS after discovering what they did to these poor babies. I have grieved for each of them even thought I have never met them. THS and OSPCA should be ashamed of themselves. What happened to putting the welfare of our animals first.ReplyDelete
I also am interested in finding out those rescues that tried to intervene with these dogs to allocate my charitable dollars.
Funny that most of the dogs were beautiful, friendly pitbull types of dogs that were uthanized!! I would love to get involved with a group that does not discriminate against these beautiful dogs, and who actually puts the animals welfare first, no matter what breed or kind of animal it is!!!!!!!! If anyone knows of one, let me know.ReplyDelete
Hi, if anyone is still checking in on this site. I would like to know how you are doing. The dogs are constantly in my thoughts.ReplyDelete
To Michelle, there are lots of great rescues out there, but they are overwhelmed by the shear number of dogs that come into care due to, the most part, neglectful or uncaring owners.
I was a dog walker at the THS and walked Tiger, Smoky, Socks and Peti, they were the sweetest Pit Bulls I have ever encounter. They were so obedient: when it was time to go back to their "cages", they would not put a fight, they would wait patiently by the park.s door and walk back to their "cages". I would pet them and kiss their head. Their were also so good in their "cages", when was their turn to be taken to the park, they would waited patiently. Socks, loved his toys. I counted one day 14 toys that he would bring back from the park with him. I never so them barking in their "cages" when I would pass-by and took another dog out. I cannot understand how these healthy and sweetest dogs were put to sleep. I read that the Vets have been consulted and other professionals outside the THS, and they said that the dogs were suffering because their were "sick" and were not enjoying their lives. These dogs were full of life and the happies in the park. I only took them for walks for a few times, then I was told that the volunteers were not going to take the Pit Bulls for walks anymore because someone was going to come to take them to another province in order to be put for adoption. I was very sad and almost cried, because I could not take them for walks anymore and because they were going to be taking to another province. But at the end I thought it was good for them, they would find a good and permanent home.ReplyDelete
I never new that these healthy, sweet dogs were killed, until yesterday, it is heartbreaking for me. I can still see their sweet faces and see them runing in the park, or waiting for me to take them out.
Yes, they were very sweet: Smokey, I wanted to adopt Tiger; and Socks he was so full of life, I believe he was the baby, he was only nine months old. Pety, was very sweet and so was Captain, I cannot get tire of repeating myself how good these dogs were, if I could only bring them back.