'Tis The Season To Be A Responsible Pet Owner
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‘Tis The Season To Be A Responsible Pet Owner

DogTorontoist has noticed an abundance of lost pet notices downtown this month, and what could be sadder, really? We don’t know if it’s a time of year when pets go missing more often, but we do know it’s unlikely to be a result of a Halloween ritual blood sacrifice. Many shelters south of the border report that most of their missing animal calls come on the heels of July 4th fireworks, which often scare a pet out of the house and into hiding.
The first stop most people make when their fuzzy facelicker goes missing is the Toronto Humane Society, but the City of Toronto also maintains a list of found pets, updated every two hours and including the contact information of where the animal is being held. Toronto Animal Services has five main locations, including the very glam-sounding Horse Palace at Exhibition Place.
Most animals listed are cats (by a huge margin) and, sadly, most dogs are unwanted pit bulls, but we were interested to find that they’ve picked up a “chicken, black, age unknown” that’s been waiting for its owner since November 23. After five business days, the pets are put up for adoption.
Many of the found dogs and cats are chipped and tagged and thus listed by name. Is there a Bette Midler fan who’s looking for their “Miss M?” Is a family out there wondering where’s “Waldo?” There’s also a certain charm browsing cats named “Gord” and “Deloris” and getting one’s heartstrings tugged by a rottie named “Tails,” and it’s a good example of how chipping your pet can quickly reunite them with you if they get separated.
The holiday season comes with particular strain on shelters as volunteer staff dwindles and people show up to pick up an animal for a Christmas present. You’ve heard it before and we can’t underscore this more emphatically: people, stop giving pets as gifts. Really. Shelters are overcrowded after every holiday because people didn’t do their research and weren’t prepared for the significant commitment of providing for a live creature.
Dog with SantaSpeaking of the holidays, it’s not often that dogs are allowed inside shopping centres, but today and tomorrow, the Toronto Humane Society has partnered with the Eaton Centre for the “Pet Pics with Santa” event. Between 5 and 8 PM, Fido can ask the big man himself for that Playstation 3 and get a charming photo taken sure to warm hearts and roll eyes everywhere. No appointment is necessary and only dogs are allowed. Santa would rather have his crotch sniffed than be scratched and sprayed, and the Eaton Centre doesn’t want any interspecies conflict. THS warns that dogs must be on leashes and under control, which is the rule always, pet owners. Proceeds are donated to the Toronto Humane Society.