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Venus II (Adoptable Dog: Toronto Humane Society)

January 31st, 2011, 09:51 AM
Posted by Marko for Crystal about a dog at the Toronto Humane Society (

I am wondering if it might be possible to post a pet on the site. She is a lovely dog named Venus, who has been waiting forever at the Toronto Humane Society.

She is special needs due to trust and behaviour issues (yet has lived very successfully in a foster home and returned through no fault of her own).

She has been in the shelter since it re-opened with little to no interest, and she really needs to get out of there. She is entering her senior years and desperately needs to feel safe and protected in a home environment again.

Here is a video of her:

Here is a note about her drafted by a dog-walking volunteer (She is a staff and volunteer favourite):!/note.php?note_id=140883772639272

January 31st, 2011, 10:14 AM
Thank you so much for posting this, Marko!

Poor Venus has been waiting for so long.

January 31st, 2011, 10:31 AM
She's beautiful! :lovestruck: I hope her forever home comes along soon! :goodvibes:

January 31st, 2011, 11:22 PM
Oops, I tried to post more pics but couldn't figure it out..

February 3rd, 2011, 08:45 PM
For ease of reference, here is the text of the note written by a volunteer:

"Venus Awaits"

I cannot remember a time since I started volunteering at the Toronto Humane Society where Venus wasn't somehow in the picture. Venus is a 7.5 year old spayed female German Shepherd Cross who has been in and out of the shelter a painful number of times. I know that for a while she was in a home where the other dogs bullied her, and because the dogs could not coexist peacefully, Venus was taken to the THS. We also know that when the OSPCA took over the THS last year, Venus was tagged a "yellow" dog - i.e. aggressive and only to be handled by OSPCA-designated individuals. The dog-walkers that she had gotten used to could no longer walk her and her sense of alienation worsened. She was then taken into foster care for several months, but that foster home could no longer keep her, and back to the THS Venus went again.

The saddest thing is that Venus is simply an AMAZING dog whose only crime is to suffer what Sam Malatesta calls "shelter syndrome." Similar reactions are experienced by puppy mill dogs, but as he explains in this blog, there are simple ways to help these dogs:

All of us who know Venus know that despite all that she has suffered, she has it in her heart to trust and love again. We also know that the few issues that she has are entirely workable in the hands of a moderately experienced dog handler. We have a plan, people, and resources available to assist whomever adopts her through the process of rehabilitation.

The main issue that Venus has is that each time she has bonded with someone, this bond was severed and she was abandoned at the shelter. Whomever adopts Venus will need to not have excessive expectations at the beginning, to give her time to ease into her new home without too many demands put on her, to bond with her people before complete obedience is demanded, to not be allowed to fail or screw up - even if that means putting a tight lid on what she does and whom she meets at first - so that her self-esteem which has been shattered by so much abandonment can be rebuilt again.

Venus displaces her trust issues on other dogs who come too close for comfort and with strangers who enter her space. Because she is a GSDX who cannot practice being one, she redirects her natural territorial aggressions on people who approach her kennel. That is why Venus resides in Back Hall at the THS as opposed to the main aisles accessible to the public.

Venus has completed a six-month round of training with Sam Malatesta, handled by longtime THS volunteer and dog-walker Cathy. With Cathy's handling, Venus has been successful focusing and obeying her commands with strangers and dogs around.

For more about the training philosophy that we have followed with Venus, please access Sam's website:

I personally fostered Venus for about six weeks last summer. She is the easiest dog to handle at home. She is house-trained, crate-trained, and INCREDIBLY MELLOW around the house. She is extremely laid-back, happy to snuggle the day away, and cover you with kisses. She loves to play ball and has a great prey drive. This is good news because there is an energy that one can work with and channel in the direction of her healing and flourishing.

Here are some great videos of her:

For more information about Venus, please access the Toronto Humane Society:

I hope she gets her forever home today before tomorrow. Good thoughts your way Veen. I love you.

- Souha

February 4th, 2011, 07:08 AM
Have you considered contacting reputable rescue groups to take over?
Has she been professionally evaluated for behaviour and temperment?

Thank you for posting her. I hope that someone will step up and help a senior. :goodvibes:

February 4th, 2011, 08:07 AM
Hi BenMax:

I think the THS likely would be happy to allow a reputable rescue to take over. Venus has been in the shelter (this go-round) since July.

Venus has been attending regular external training classes with a volunteer handler who adores her. She has been evaluated by that trainer, as welll as by the Canine Behaviour Specialist at the THS, who is a certified trainer, and an extraordinary natural talent when it comes to dog training and handling (we are incredibly lucky to have him--he is universally admired by the volunteers).

I don't want to go in-depth into her behaviour issues here, because it falls outside my competence, but if anyone wants to know more they can contact the THS and ask for Shaswar.

I don't know if I mentioned already that whoever adopts Venus will be provided with lifetime training and behavioural support by the THS.

If you go to the youtube video and click on the SpecialNeedsPetsON page, there are several other videos, including vids of Venus doing training exercises with volunteers.

(There are also videos of two other adoptable special needs dogs: Hercules the senior JRT, and Murphy the young GSD/Collie X). We hope to post more as time goes on, including some special needs kitties.

February 4th, 2011, 08:34 AM
Thank you for your message above. I will get in contact with a rescue I know very well. This week however I am sending 6 rescues to her and I know she is very full. Hopefully she will consider but what I would require from you is a direct person and contact name.

Please ask for PM privildges.

February 4th, 2011, 10:57 AM
Thanks! How would I get PM privileges?

February 4th, 2011, 10:59 AM
I'll PM Marko, the administrator for you.

February 4th, 2011, 11:39 AM
Pm's are active already Lilmac

Just click userCP and then look at the left column to manage your Pms.

to send a Pm just click on a member's username - click the contact info tab - then send pm.

that should work - but do let me know here (if indeed you cannot PM)



February 4th, 2011, 04:40 PM
The video really shows how beautiful she is,she does not look senior to me,love those big ears:cloud9:
:pray:She will find someone who understands her and can work with her,July to February is a long time in a shelter:(
Wish I was 20 yrs younger:dog:

March 5th, 2011, 06:17 AM
Poor Venus is still waiting .....

March 5th, 2011, 06:57 AM
Poor Venus is still waiting .....

Did a certain rescues make contact? Nothing???
If not, please let me know. I will contact another and maybe just contact myself for further details.
Thanks for keeping us up to speed.

March 31st, 2011, 03:31 PM
I don't have any details, but I just got word that Venus was adopted today!

March 31st, 2011, 03:59 PM
horray for Venus!!!!

March 31st, 2011, 04:06 PM
Oh,that's great,hopefully she'll have a permanent home this time:fingerscr:pray:

March 31st, 2011, 08:36 PM
She is beautiful!! I know she has found a great home!!!

March 31st, 2011, 08:54 PM
Thanks for the update, LilMac.

That is wonderful news. Venus is a beautiful girl. May she have a long and happy life in her new forever home. :goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes:

March 31st, 2011, 09:27 PM
That's great!! Please Pm us when it's official so we can close this thread in a good way!

April 1st, 2011, 08:21 AM
Oh,that's great,hopefully she'll have a permanent home this time:fingerscr:pray:

she does chico....she does! :D;)

April 1st, 2011, 09:14 AM
Oh,oh,I think I know where she is:thumbs up:grouphug:

April 1st, 2011, 09:24 AM
You rock KRD

Dog Dancer
April 1st, 2011, 11:08 AM
Congratulations KRD!! :angel2: I have happy goose bumps right now. If I'm reading correctly I wish you nothing but happy trails and happy tails! You rock. Hopefully now Venus will settle into being the wonderful pup she can be.

April 1st, 2011, 04:29 PM
chico...Yep U know where she is now.

I wasn't going to spoil the I was waiting for KRD to tell it herself. :D

I love happy endings!!