Thursday, July 21, 2011


It's been a while since I posted. That's partially because I've been out of town twice (and actually, I'm out of town now, sitting in an Internet cafe). It's partially because the foster situation has gotten so out of control I may have been reduced to punching a pillow. It's partially because our small animal room is full, and we've had to deal with a batch of literally starved hamsters, 6 guinea pigs arriving at once, and the fast-growing results of three litters of rabbits.

But I'm not going to write about any of that right now, not really. Because there's something much more important going on right now, the reason I'm sitting in an Internet cafe rather than ignoring the Internet while on vacation.

Toronto has been conducting a service review. And every service is at risk of being cut or at least severely reduced.
And Toronto Animal Services is one of those city services.

I'll be damned if I'm going to let them ruin TAS, especially when they've been improving so remarkably over the past few years. I don't know what's going to happen - if we'll be cut, if we're safe, what we're going to do if they try to cut. There are certainly things in the works and if you know anyone who would like to make some noise on TAS' behalf, let me know. I know I will be! Toronto City Council needs to hear from its citizens that TAS is important to them. They need to hear what happens when you contract out animal services (google 'Montreal Berger-Blanc' if you want nightmares). They need to know the myriad of services that TAS provides and why people care about them.

I cannot even describe how frustrated I am right now. Every time I feel like we're doing something spectacular, like we're really making a difference, this threat looms over our heads. If they ruin this wonderful, relatively-cheap-for-the-city-anyway service, I don't even know how to express my anger.
But there will be action and noise soon. For now, I want to share this:

These 7 baby rabbits were found living under someone's porch last month. If not for TAS South, they would probably be dead right now. Instead, they are safe in a foster home, getting spoiled and socialized, and they will find homes when the time comes - and they'll be spayed and neutered.
This is Chip. As you can see, he arrived at the shelter with a hole in his head, left behind when his owner went to Europe. TAS South took care of him and helped him back to health.
This is Chip a few weeks ago, in his new home, where is loved and spoiled. That is thanks to TAS South.
This is Scotia. He arrived with a group of hamsters, and they had been severely starved. You could feel every bone. They had been fighting for scraps of food, and all had injuries. They didn't all make it, but Scotia and two of his siblings are now available for adoption and at a healthy weight. That's thanks to TAS South.
This is my baby boy, Neville. He is alive because TAS South took the time to find him a foster home and let him grow up. I never talk about this because, let's face it, it's unpleasant. But in most cities, small animals are not lucky enough to get foster homes. In most cities, if a small animal gives birth in a shelter, the family is euthanized due to lack of space and adoptions. Toronto is not like that because TAS makes the effort. Neville is my boy because TAS took the time.
This is Frankie, a 10-year-old Jack Russell who was found as a stray. She found a home at our last adopt-a-thon, because staff and volunteers took the time to do community outreach, and put in their own time to organize community events.

That's not even mentioning how many dogs have been saved from high-kill areas and brought to Toronto through TAS. Or the many stray cats that find homes through our 4 shelters. Or the hundreds upon hundreds of animals that are spayed/neutered thanks to us.

Isn't this worth saving?


gracerock said...

We are behind you 100%, and if you need support or another person to shout about how great TAS is, we're in!

Grace & Casey

Social Mange said...

Great post, Laura.

Everyone needs to contact the Mayor and their city councillor to let them know how important TAS is to the city and its residents, and most of all to the voiceless and defenceless that are in its care.

Social Mange said...

You can look up your councillor here by your street address if you don't know your councillor's name.

Teena in Toronto said...

I love it when animals find homes! I adopted a kitten from a rescue two months ago.

Caroline said...

Great job Laura, thanks for taking time out from your holidays I was missing your blog!