In this edition of The Paw Print...

Exciting Fundraising Events

February was another busy month for fundraising at EHS. Raptors905 are continuing the campaign where the public can purchase tickets at, enter promo code EHS905 and $2 from each ticket sold goes to EHS. GO! Raptors905 GO!  Get your tickets before the last home game on April 12.

There were two national campaigns running simultaneously in the month of February.  National Cupcake Day had people register with and sell cupcakes throughout the month with proceeds going to their local humane society.  Thanks to all the volunteers who helped make this a successful event.

Global Pet Foods also had a national campaign where all their stores collected money from customers. Thanks to the kind folks at Global Pet Foods Humbertown and Instigator Communications for their donation.

We want to acknowledge the employees at OLG Slots at Woodbine for repeating their annual employee drive.  A special thank you goes out to the kind folks at The Cheese Boutique for donating a wheel of cheese which was auctioned off by Kevin Frankish and the crew of CityTV’s Breakfast Television.  The on-air auction raised $925 for EHS!

For March, look for us at the Canadian Pet Expo, March 25, 26, 27 at the International Centre, Hall 2, booth 328. We will have artist Soubadeh Majidi demonstrating her hand painted works of dogs and cats on canvas during the show (see picture below).  To buy your tickets, go to

Hand painted picture of Angel on canvas bag by artist Soudabeh Majidi.  To get your own, visit us at the Canadian Pet Expo from Mar 25-27 at The International Centre (!
March 25 is also the date for Project Paws' Animal Rescue Benefit concert promoted by Triple Crown Concerts with proceeds going to EHS. Enjoy six different bands in one amazing evening.  Check out the details on our website: and support this great evening of fun and great music.
Have a great month and thank you for your support!

EHS Dog Update

In February, we celebrated Pet Dental Health Awareness month and through the surrender of a dog in that month, it highlighted the importance of taking care of your pet’s dental needs for their overall health.
A couple of months ago, a young female schnauzer mix was found by a tenant moving into a rental home. The dog was found in a cage in the basement with an empty food bowl and water dish. We were told that the owners were deported and it is estimated that the dog had been there for well over a week. She was underweight and malnourished.  We decided that we had to take her in.
We took her to our veterinarian and it was determined that she had a severe case of dental disease. A week later, she underwent a four hour surgery to remove 23 teeth. Most of the teeth were held in place by only one root and pus from infection had set in.  Many of the large molars had to be split in half before removal in order to prevent shattering of the jawbone. Two lower canines were left in place as the veterinarian was sure that the jawbone would shatter leaving another medical problem that would need to be addressed. The dog had an infection in her nasal passage that had travelled from her upper canines and she has developed a heart murmur. This was the worst case of dental disease the vet had seen in over a decade. Having a heart murmur means ongoing monitoring throughout her life and has an impact on whether future surgeries can be done. Your donations to EHS help pay for much needed medical procedures like this. Thanks to our donors who make this possible!
We are happy to report that this dog, now named Cria (see picture below), is doing well, is gaining weight day by day and is the most amazing happy dog.


Happy Tails

It is very sad when an owner passes away and leaves four dogs without a home: a mom, dad and two sons. The dogs quickly passed through two homes, with one son being adopted along the way and three dogs were surrendered to us this month. The dogs are Lhasa/Shih Tzu mixes: Precious (mom), Buddy Bear (dad) and Buckley (son). It was a difficult adjustment for the dogs as so much happened to them in such a short period of time. They have come a long way showering the EHS dog volunteers with their energy and love. We are happy that both Precious and Buddy Bear have found their forever homes with Buckley on his way to finding his family soon.
Precious (white) and Buddy Bear (grey) were adopted in March.
Anna, Pippa, Bear and Taira - all adopted in 2016.
Interested in becoming involved at EHS?  Want to make an even greater difference in animals’ lives?  Then consider becoming a member of the Etobicoke Humane Society.  As a member, you are entitled to vote at the Annual General Meeting and participate in members’ meetings to help shape the direction of the organization on matters related to animal welfare.  Membership fee is eligible for a tax receipt.

You can also apply to one of our open board positions.  Click here for our open positions.
Become a Member
Who wouldn't take a big, friendly, gorgeous and sweet FIV-positive cat home?
This is what we at the EHS are waiting to find out. Not everyone is aware of what FIV really means, and it is important to have a discussion to help people comprehend the true nature of FIV and not the myths that confuse and scare people away from adopting an FIV cat.   
FIV-positive cats are often considered un-adoptable, and are euthanized in many shelters. However, FIV-positive cats are in fact very adoptable, and can live the same lifespan as an FIV-negative cat. That is why many veterinarians, including the feline medicine experts at the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), suggest owners never opt for euthanasia based on a positive test alone.     
So, why do some shelters still choose euthanasia as the first option for an FIV-positive cat?
The name itself is reminiscent of the human disease known as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and evokes a fear reaction from people before they even understand what FIV means.
Is your family at risk if you adopt an FIV-positive cat?
The answer is no. Just as HIV affects only people, FIV is contractible by cats alone. Being FIV-positive means that the cat has antibodies that have been exposed to the virus, although it can take years, if ever, before the cat develops any FIV infection and clinical signs referred as Feline AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome of Cats). If a cat has FIV, it does not necessarily have Feline AIDS.
Is FIV the same as FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus)?
FIV and FeLV are both members of the retrovirus family, and their advanced infection symptoms are similar. However, FIV is more difficult to pass from one cat to another, and FeLV progresses much more rapidly. While they do have similarities, they are not the same virus. 

Picture of Sheena and Joey                Philip
Sheena (left) and Philip (right) with their new families
Can an FIV-positive cat live with FIV-negative cats?
One of the most damaging myths about FIV-Positive cats is that saliva can transfer the virus and therefore sharing the same water and food bowls and licking each other can cause the virus to pass from cat to cat. This is not true - the virus stay deep inside the cat's mouth gums, so in fact, “FIV is mainly passed from cat to cat though deep bite wounds, the kind that usually occur outdoors during aggressive fights and territorial disputes, the perfect reason to keep your cat inside”, according to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). They also say it isn’t likely to be transmitted through saliva because, “the virus is very fragile, and does not live for long once outside the body - it is destroyed by drying, light, heat and basic detergents - normally the virus will be long-dead before any surfaces come to be cleaned, it is the initial drying that sees off the vast majority of the virus, and this will normally happen in seconds.”
Secondly, “the mucous membrane is a fairly effective barrier to the virus, so even if some virus does enter the cat's mouth, it is very unlikely to cross the mucous membrane, so it will die inside the stomach. It has been suggested that, for the virus to actually infect a cat when taken in through the mouth, there would need to be ten thousand times as much virus present for it to achieve a cross infection” ( Although there is always a risk of transmission of FIV in multi-cat households, the risk is low and should be kept in perspective. The virus is also transmitted through semen, which means a kitten can be infected before, at, or after birth, or from nursing from a mother with the virus. Around a quarter to a third of kittens born to an infected mother are likely to be infected themselves.
How is FIV diagnosed?
FIV is diagnosed though a blood test that detects antibodies to the virus. The most common screen test is called the ELISA test (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay). Tests can result in a false negative or positive, which may occur for a variety of reasons. Due to the false results that occur it is important to re-test a kitten within six months after the first test, as it can take up to eight weeks or longer for a cat to develop FIV antibodies. A kitten that has contracted its mother’s antibodies when tested may receive a false positive, or a cat that has recently been infected may receive a false negative. EHS tests each of our cats before arriving at the shelter, to determine if they have been exposed to FIV or FeLV.               
What are some symptoms that occur in a cat that has FIV?
FIV reduces the cat’s immune system’s ability to respond to any infections due to the lower amount of white blood cells in the body. This means that many of the symptoms associated with FIV are due to other non-healing infections, which include gingivitis, stomatitis, poor appetite, weight loss, conjunctivitis, vomiting or diarrhea. Many bacterial infections will be treated with antibiotics or interferon. The effect of the antibiotics is usually temporary. The best way to manage an FIV cat is to use preventative care so that the cat can be as strong as possible before any of these symptoms manifest, and if they do arise, symptomatic treatment is usually the course of action.     
How else can I help protect an FIV-positive cat?
Nutrition is important for all cats, FIV positive or not, along with limiting as best as you can their exposure to potential pathogens, which can extend an already long life. While the EHS promotes indoor living for cats, it is especially necessary for FIV cats to be kept indoors, where their immune system will be less exposed. An examination at the vet once a year is very important, and they will require blood and urine tests to monitor their immune system. Any infection should be treated immediately.
EHS hopes to share as much information as possible with the community regarding the Feline Immune Deficiency Virus and FIV-positive cats.
Why do we choose to do this?
Because we know all cats deserve a chance to have a family, and a happy, fulfilling life.   

EHS hopes to share as much information as possible with the community regarding Feline immunodeficiency virus and FIV-positive cats.
FIV-positive cats are stigmatized, which means they are less likely to be adopted than FIV-negative cats, and we want to change that
Morris (orange tabby) with our volunteer and with his new forever family.  Dexter (grey) currently available for adoption.  For available cats, please check out

Help Save 21 Dogs!

here are few things more devastating to an animal lover than hearing about a case of severe animal cruelty – especially when the case in question has been an ongoing progression of abuse. Everyone at the Etobicoke Humane Society felt this devastation last October, when news broke that a dog-fighting ring had been discovered in Tilbury, Ontario.  Thirty-one abused dogs were seized from the property and three of them had injuries so severe, euthanasia was the only humane option.  Many felt this situation couldn’t get any worse.  However, this January, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) made international headlines when it was announced they were seeking court approval to euthanize twenty-one of the rescued dogs.  The OSPCA claims the extent of the abuse they suffered makes the dogs a threat to public safety, despite temperament evaluations that used words such as “sweet”, “social” and “submissive” to describe these dogs.  Since this information came to light, animal welfare organizations from around the world came forward, urging the OSPCA to rethink their decision.  Several of these organizations agreed the least the OSPCA could do was to invite a third party expert (either an experienced dog trainer or animal behaviour specialist) to come and individually assess each dog’s temperament before determining their potential for rehabilitation.

This issue hits close to home for many of our shelter volunteers, who have seen the remarkable and often inspirational ability of abused dogs to forgive.  A couple of years ago, EHS rescued a severely neglected Rottweiler mix.  Her owner had originally planned to surrender her to another shelter, but was told that she’d face potential euthanasia due to her seemingly aggressive nature.  EHS decided to give her a second chance.  At first, she would bark and snarl at anybody who passed her kennel but we were amazed by how quickly she came out of her shell.  In fact, she soon earned a reputation as one of the shelter’s biggest lap dogs.  All she needed was a little bit of patience and love to help her learn how to trust humans again.  Today, when we receive happy updates from the lovely couple who adopted her, it’s hard to believe she was once written off as a hopeless case.
It has been proven dogs that have faced the trauma of dogfighting can be rehabilitated with great success.  Most people remember the Michael Vick dogfighting investigation of 2007, but perhaps fewer people know what happened to the dogs that were rescued.  Several of the dogs – referred to collectively as the Vicktory Dogs, were rehabilitated by organizations like BADRAP and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.  Many were adopted by loving families and went on to live happy lives, simply grateful for the chance to be a regular dog.  Two of them went on to become certified therapy dogs, bringing comfort and joy to residents at hospitals and retirement homes.  EHS firmly believes every animal deserves a second chance, most importantly, those who were never given a first.

A King City shelter called Dog Tales Rescue & Sanctuary recently made an appeal to the OSPCA, offering to take in and rehabilitate the twenty-one rescued dogs.  Unfortunately, because the OSPCA does not own the dogs, they did not have the ability to authorize this.  However, on March 10, animal lovers across the province and beyond were relieved to hear that the individuals facing dog-fighting charges (who technically remain the dogs’ legal owners) have agreed to let Dog Tales take custody of the dogs.  It is a definitive victory, albeit a small one.  Although helpful to the plight to save the dogs, it is not sufficient for the dogs’ owners to agree to transfer ownership to Dog Tales – this transfer must be authorized by the court. This case is also complicated by the OSPCA’s claim that the dogs seized from the fighting operation were “pit bulls” which since 2005, have been banned in Ontario (the only Canadian province with such legislation).  This law exists despite an onslaught of evidence showing it has been ineffective at reducing dog bites – in fact, a recent Global News report found Toronto’s dog bite rate has actually increased since the commencement of the ban.  In regards to Ontario’s breed-specific legislation, the Tilbury dogs, if they are proven pit bulls, would need to be rehomed out of province.  Also, if proven pit bulls, Dog Tales would need to be designated as a pound (rather than a shelter) in order to house these dogs until they are ready for adoption.  We say “if” because as of yet, these dogs have not been proven as pit bulls by a court of law.

Many people are not aware that a pit bull is not actually a breed of dog – rather, it is a blanket term for American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, and Staffordshire bull terriers – and drawing the line between what constitutes a pit bull and what doesn’t is more difficult than one might think.  EHS once had a dog whom everyone thought was a pit bull.  Since she was born before the ban came into effect, she was still legal, but we had to muzzle her on walks.  It was only after a breed test was done we found out she was a German Shepherd-Great Dane-Weimaraner mix.  Admittedly, breed tests are not always reliable and have been subject to validity concerns of their own, but what this goes to show is that unless you have a purebred show dog with a pedigree longer than your arm, it’s extremely difficult to pinpoint any dog’s breed with any form of certainty.  Not only is it a nearly impossible task, but at the end of the day, it shouldn’t matter.  Rottweilers, Dobermans and German Shepherds have all been the targets of choice for dog-fighting operations at various points over the years.  The sad truth is as long as cruel and abusive humans exist in this world, there will always be dogs that are victims of dog-fighting, regardless of breed.

Legislation aside, we fear a decade of judging dogs based solely on their appearance has resulted in a public paranoia about pit bulls, despite the fact that millions of these dogs are nothing more than loving companions to families around the world.  We are concerned that this widespread discrimination has partially informed the public discourse surrounding this case, whether consciously or subconsciously, and we worry about the influence it will have on the court responsible for determining the welfare of these dogs.

EHS is urging everyone in the community to speak up about this matter and do whatever they can to spread the word about this issue. We need to start standing up for the victims of animal abuse and start putting the blame where it belongs – not on the dogs who have been forced into fighting for the sake of human greed, but on the individuals responsible for these despicable actions.  

Ready to take action?  Write to the Minister of Community and Social Services (Yasir Naqvi) and your local politicians.  Please join us in becoming a voice for the voiceless.

Make a Donation
The Etobicoke Humane Society is an independent, 100% volunteer run, no-kill shelter.  Support EHS by making a donation.  All donations over $20 will receive a tax receipt.
Copyright © 2016 Etobicoke Humane Society, All rights reserved.

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