Monday, February 23, 2009

Sweet Tara

Tara's come to Toronto Animal Services from a bad situation. Her hard past shows up on her face and her body in the form of a dozen or more bite scars. I don't know the exact details. I'm not sure anyone at TAS does.

Tara's is the face of a dog who has been unlucky in many respects expect one. She's officially a restricted Pit Bull in Ontario which means she's been given a pass to live here. Born a few months later, and she'd be facing a much different fate under the Pit Bull provision of Ontario's Dog Owner's Liability Act. She'll have a hard enough time of it as it is. The adopting public will pass her by more than the other dogs in the facility because of media generated prejudices against her. The people who do ask for her will have to be carefully screened so that she doesn't end up in her previous situation. She'll have to wear a muzzle at all times in public. Her owners will be looked at with suspicion. And, given what she's been through, her owners will have to keep an eye out for behavioral problems.

If she does have any problems, though, she's not showing them. Like the majority of the other Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes that I've seen come through TAS, Tara is amazingly people friendly and affectionate and grounded. She hasn't displayed any dog aggression and doesn't seem to be too negatively reactive to cats, though she does acknowledge them. She's untrained on leash but nevertheless, is sensitive to the person on the other end and doesn't pull excessively. She seems housebroken and is very clean.

In other words, she is certainly a well above average candidate for adoption and if she could be judged solely as a dog as opposed to being judged as a Pit Bull, she'd be adopted in no time. As it is, she may be at TAS for the long haul.

Or at least that's the post I was going to write but what happened was this:

I walked into TAS on Sunday to find a young couple with their own mid-sized brown dog just about to take Tara out on a walk. They were there for a meet and greet and everything seemed to be going well.

I saw them again about an hour later just before they were going to leave and they were absolutely thrilled with Tara and seemed to adore her to bits already. Tara will be staying at TAS for another day or two to clear up a few things and then she should be on her way to her new home.

Amazing. I wish I could give the adopters a reward for being superb human beings and again I am reminded that the way to salvation for all these maligned dogs is through the goodness of people who aren't swayed by the unfair prejudices and ignorance of others.

I go on all the time about discrimination against Pit Bulls, and Tara and all the dogs like Tara are the reason why. Tara's the reason why it doesn't make sense to me when our provincial government tries to eradicate Pit Bulls and when big time organizations like HSUS and PETA, who say they are looking after the welfare of all animals, so easily give up on helping these dogs. Pit Bulls are dogs and just like any other dog, they deserve a chance.

Tara deserves a chance and it looks like she's going to get hers soon.

Update on Tara here.


Ian said...

She`s stunning.
I hope the new owners will update you when she settles in.
Sad,sad situation with that law when your look or your birth date determine whether you live or die.
She`s obviously not one of those 3 Pure Breeds in that Legislation but I suppose a case could be made for looking somewhat like a couple of them.
I`m not clear on why Ontario would attempt to make the case if she`s a good dog.
I`m so glad to see that TAS does their best for all the dogs.

Caveat said...

Ooh, too bad my friend missed this one. Her two 'substantially similar' mixes both died of old age a few weeks apart last fall.

Ah well, next time!

She is a beauty and I'm glad she got a new home so quickly.

deakat said...

I'm so happy to hear about Tara's good fortune. My girl has to wear a muzzle when we go out walking, not because she's a bully mix, but because she has a bite history and I want to keep her safe.