Friday, June 19, 2009

Going north

I'm sitting with Bach on the little patch of grass that is still accessible. Bach, with his striking ice blue eyes, watches the workers put up barricades for the Indy track. Off around one of the bends, I hear someone squealing his car around a corner, really squealing, action flick, car chase like. The guy's just driving some beater but I guess because he sees the track being set up, his X-Box brain kicks in and he figures he can try out some moves.

Bach lies down on the grass. He's hot in the haze of the sun and the grass probably helps cool him down. He rolls over on his back and paws me for a belly rub. I'm spending some extra time with him because this will probably be his last day down at Toronto Animal Services South before he gets transferred up to the north facility for the duration of the city workers' strike.

TAS South has been busy getting ready to shut down. The other three shelters are remaining open. This doesn't make sense to me as I think the south shelter is the best facility - not that I'm biased or anything - but I'm told part of the reason is because the Indy will make access to the South shelter difficult if not impossible. Given that there will be enough worries with no regular staff to look after the animals, the city wants to keep things as simple as possible.

The plan, then, is to move all the animals from south to north. Thing is, TAS South staff would prefer to not put their cats and dogs through the turmoil and anxiety of being housed at the north shelter because no one really knows who will be looking after the animals there when the strike starts. Managers probably, but managers of what? Accounts, trucks and H.R.?

Jen, the person looking after cats at TAS South, has done an incredible job finding temporary cat fosters for the duration of the strike. More than forty cats have already gone out and the few remaining will hopefully be picked up sometime soon.

Most of the dogs have been fostered out as well but there are a handful remaining who will be kept up on the TAS adoption page, so who knows, maybe they'll get homed before the shelter transfer.

But Bach is definitely going up to TAS North. He was adopted out a few weeks ago but returned because his owner discovered he had heartworm at their first vet visit. Her vet told her that his treatment would cost $3000. I think that's a bit padded considering the drugs, while expensive, only cost a few hundred dollars, but hey, everyone wants to make a buck.

So Bach is back and he won't be put up for adoption until he gets put through the heartworm treatment which will last six weeks. And the treatment won't start until after the strike so that's probably another 2 - 3 weeks.

I'm a little worried for him. It feels like sending a sick kid off to summer camp not knowing what the camp facilities are like, not knowing even who's running the camp.

But Bach being Bach being a dog, is presently doing just fine. He doesn't appear to be showing any symptoms. No coughing, no lethargy. He's just enjoying his belly scratches and soaking up the sun, relishing what could be his last few minutes outside for many weeks to come.

He better make it back okay.

(Bach was one of the last out-of-province rescue dogs to be adopted out before TAS started doing heartworm testing on all their rescue dogs. TAS used to test all their dogs but never got any positive results so they figured they might as cancel the tests, at $20 a pop, and put the money elsewhere. Now heartworm seems to be much more prevalent, hence the testing once again.)

Strike stuff ontinued here.

Bach stuff continued here.


Laura HP said...

I hope Bach is ok during the strike! It's certainly creating a sort of chaos. Jen's done an amazing job though. Forty cats is a lot to find temporary homes for!

Marcie said...

I am going to walk up to TAS North tomorrow and see if they need any help :o) It's only a 15 minute walk from my house, I'd love to help out.

I'm thinking it's time to get involved in something animal related again & hopefully it will be a positive experience this time around.

Fred said...

Marcie, I'm almost afraid to ask but if you go, please write back and let me know what it's like up there.