Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy 2009! Hello 2010!

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Happy New Year!

It has been quite a year. Mostly it's been amazing- every year has its ups and downs of course- but on the whole I am entirely thankful for all the sparkly wonderfulness and the many chances I have had to learn a little bit more about myself, my family*, and the complex and glittering people (and critters!) around me.

I've been carving out this little corner of the blog-verse for a little over 6 months now and I just want to say thank you THANK YOU for joining me and sharing your thoughts, experiences and general hilarity with all of us! I think you're WICKED. Every morning I look forward to getting up and checking my inbox to see all the fabulous nuggets you guys have shared!

So, a year in review from Fido & Wino (okay, it's only been 6 months, you know what I mean... saying "6 months in review"... not as catchy...):

1. I wrote A Letter to the Asshole Who Abandoned My Dog because I was so PISSED with the asshat who abandoned my dog, Kayloo, at a dump when she was 3 or 4 weeks old. What kind of toolbox pulls that kind of crap?! And there I go again...

2. We had the chance to enjoy a wonderful summer by the water, crashing out in complete exhaustion and sometimes just smelling the daisies;

3. My dogs wrecked some stuff including a cushion... and some shoes...

5. But every now and then the dogs were almost perfect in every way;

6. ... before coming to their senses and wrecking more of my crap... like another cushion (II);

7. When the Toronto Humane Society story on animal cruelty came out I think we all felt a deep sense of sadness and a certain sense of betrayal. It just shouldn't happen;

9. And before we knew it was Thanksgiving! I wrote this one about my first experience with red wine...

10. ...before I rambled on about not getting kids dogs for Christmas (I ramble sometimes!).

In May I said good bye to a dear friend of mine. I was thinking about her when I wrote this and she is the reason I started here in the first place. She was sunshine and sass and I will continue to learn from her through my thoughts and my dreams.

From my family to yours, HAPPY FREAKING NEW YEAR, give your pups and pets a kiss for me and I'll see you in 2010!

* In my world my immediate "family" is defined by John, Mickey, Kayloo & me. We are a family of 4. If you think that is weird... well okay, I don't actually think you think that is weird...

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Stuff My Dogs Have Wrecked: Christmas Decorations

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Um. Okay. This is NOT the look and feel I was going for when I put up the holly, jolly, FREAKING CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS:

John may have murmured an "I told you so" but I think what he MEANT to lovingly croon was, "Wow, Shauna that is truly a pain in the butt, how-can-I-help-you-have-you-lost-weight-would-you-like-your-drink-straight-up-or-on-the-rocks?"

Best not to make direct eye contact when you wreck the crazy lady's shit:

For the record- THIS is the general look and feel I was going for although ORIGINALLY cherubs flew from ornament to ornament, Clive Owen lookalikes lit the candles and Santa himself let out a hardy "Ho, Ho, HO!" every time you took a drink of your eggnog.

Damn dogs.

Clearly I spoke too soon with the whole Christmas card non-fiasco.

If you enjoyed my frustration here you might also like:

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Cheetah Toy

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Yeah to Petstages and their Toss & Shake toy!

John's parents got us this toy for Mickey for Christmas and Kayloo appropriated it for herself and it kept her occupied ALL CHRISTMAS MORNING. I am not kidding you. She sat there and she played with it which meant she spent less time shredding wrapping paper into 60 trillion shreds. Don't get me wrong, cleaning up 60 trillion shreds of red and green soggy mess is super fun, but NOT doing that is better.

Ohmigod! And I just looked at the Petstages testimonials page and a freaking Cheetah cub plays with their ring thing-o. A CHEETAH! Holy crap that is so cool. And she has WICKED HAIR. Ohmigod I want a Cheetah.

Just kidding. Kind of.

I think this means that via, via, via Kayloo is practically as wicked-cool-agile as a Cheetah. Except Kayloo would actually rather sleep. Hmmm. Will keep you posted as to Kayloo's Cheetah-agile-ness.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

I DO Love to Cook With Wine!

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A quick note to wish you all a very happy christmashanukkahseasonholiday! I hope you've eaten fabulous food, had lots of fun with your loved ones and tore into a bottle or two (or five... or seven...)

My ma and popinlaw got me this... WOW do they ever know me. Perhaps I should be a wee bit more discreet about my extensive, albeit amateurish love of wine?


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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Moments of Sibling Tenderness

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Holy crap! Look at how sweet they look AND I DIDN'T POSE THEM LIKE THIS OR ANYTHING.

... 5 seconds later they were back to their normal selves:

... 10 seconds later Mickey was lovingly dragging Kayloo across the living room floor by her collar. Kayloo outweighs Mickey by a good 30 lbs.

I enjoyed the sweetness while it lasted (another couple of photos showing moments of sibling tenderness here).

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Full Tummies and Festive Boxes

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In my family it is a time-honoured tradition to go for a huge brunch on the Sunday before Christmas. Right outside the place John and I went for our festive food there were these GIANT PRESENTS.

I just wanted to share this photo with you because they are just so... cheery!

I hope you're getting into the festive spirit!

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bratty Little Angel

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This shot was from the Cujo photoshoot.

If Mickey had a little Devil speaking to him this is what he would look like (I imagine Mickey's Devil to be male, they'd be like two boys playing hooky, throwing stink bombs and putting salamanders in little girls sandals).

Mickey's bratty little angel would wear a cockeyed hat, a smart alec grin and Mickey would be ENTRANCED ever time that little Devil gave him a new evil idea...

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dear Parents: Please DO NOT get your kid a dog for Christmas

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That's right. Please DO NOT go and get your cute little kid a cute little dog and put a bright shiny bow around the pups oh-so-adorable neck. Cuz you know what? Little Tobi or Fluffy or whatever is decidedly LESS CUTE WHEN THEY ARE CRAPPING ON YOUR CARPET.

Top 5 reasons why you should NOT wrap a puppy up and put him under the tree for your bambinos:

#5 As mentioned, dogs crap on stuff. ALL THE TIME. Once my dog managed to crap ON MY WALL. I wish I was kidding. Sure, you'll meet people who say, "Oh, we've had little Toto now for ONE WHOLE WEEK and he is COMPLETELY HOUSE TRAINED." Let me assure you, Toto is not house trained. Toto is lulling you into a false sense of security so you think it's okay to invite people over for dinner again so he can crap on your guests' shoes, tap dance in it and then jump into your lap and decorate your brand new pants.

#4 Rain. Quick show of hands: Would you rather be wrapped up in a nice warm blanket, cup of hot cocoa warming your hands.... or trudging around outside, drenched in the pouring rain, hail AND snow while your inquisitive dog refuses to pee and your hands freeze because you can't wear gloves and maneuver a doggy-doo bag at the same time? Hmmm. Keep in mind that you have to walk your dog EVERY day, at least TWICE A DAY for around an hour EACH TIME because that’s what most dogs need to work right. And you don't get to balk on that because that would make you lame.

#3 Dogs totally mess up your social life. Do you like to go out for dinner? NOT ANYMORE. Has your darling, wonderful puppy dog been home alone all day? Yes? Just TRY to go out for a nice, leisurely dinner. You will feel SO GUILTY and miss your dog SO MUCH you'll race through your spicy tortellini, skip dessert and high tail it out of the restaurant to the confusion of your non-doggie dinner companions, speeding all the way home and practically knocking down your front door. Probably to find something important chewed into a trillion pieces.

#2 Dogs chew stuff into a trillion pieces. Sometimes they find cushions. Sometimes they find shoes. GOD HELP THEM IF THEY FIND MY COWBOY BOOTS. What makes this even more fun, is your only recourse to dealing with your pooches maddening indiscretions is to get better at puppy-proofing every nook and cranny of your entire beloved house because, wait for it... you can only scold them if you catch them IN THE ACT of defacing the quilt your grandmother made you when you were 6 years old. Yeah. Because if you try to educate them even one second after they finish you are merely the idiot barking really loud FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON.

#1 ... I can't think of another one.

Okay, you got me. Truth be told, I think dogs are WICKED FUN and the only reason I am trying to dissuade you is because, if after reading all of that you STILL want to get your crazy kidlets a doe-eyed pup (or an older dog) then I say, GO FOR IT. You are going to make a wonderful WONDERFUL dog parent and your kid(s) are going to have a WILDLY FUN CHILDHOOD being able to traipse around on endless terrific adventures with Fido by their side. You'll be a good dog parent because:

1. You understand that when you invite a dog into your loving home it's for keeps and that NO MATTER WHAT you will take care of her and love her and do everything you can to make sure she has a great forever home. You will never give her up to a shelter/abandon her;

2. You'll exercise the heck out of him, make sure he's trained, and you'll pick up after him EVERY SINGLE TIME because dog poop is the worst. Especially when it's from someone else's dog;

3. You'll give her shmoopy, lovey pet names that are ridiculous and embarrassing and you'll talk in that weird baby voice EVEN IN FRONT OF COMPANY because YOU JUST CAN'T HELP IT she is THAT DANG CUTE.

So, Happy Holidays! Go to Petfinder.com right now and find the WORLD'S BEST PET to add to your family. You're kids will be so excited!

Between you and me: You may want to include a few bottles of extra strength carpet cleaner with your fuzzy, floppy gift... but, oh it’ll be worth it!

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Stuff My Dogs Have Wrecked: Christmas Card

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Even sharing this gnawed on Christmas card with you now, I know it's a little weak. It's a card. The corner is gone. YOU CAN STILL TELL IT'S A WREATH.

It's like my dogs aren't even trying anymore.

I mean, how to compare to cushion fluff everywhere (like here) or busting the World's Perfect Sandals (like here). Which leads me to a question I am afraid to utter lest I jinx it:

Are my dogs getting better?

This latest attempt is practically half-assed, isn't it? Back in the day my dogs would have OBLITERATED that dang card. It would have been SHREDDED and MASHED and... let's be honest... they probably would have eaten it and I would have said to myself "I think we received a Christmas card yesterday... but maybe not... maybe if I sent out cards we'd RECEIVE more cards... probably imagining things again..." AND THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE STORY ABOUT THE CHRISTMAS CARD. It would have been a NON-STORY and I would have filled this space with insightful musings about world politics or something.

Or something.

It's more likely that my dogs are just messing with me and saving up their destructiveness for something really juicy like a Christmas turkey.

Does it ever concen you that you spend a certain portion of your day trying to outsmart AN ANIMAL? If that doesn't concern you then it doesn't concern me either.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Time Flies

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This is a picture from Christmas 2008 (here is another one). Mickey was about 7 months old in this picture. Ah, how time flies.

Speaking of how time flies: Soooo... it occurred to me today that I only have ONE MORE FREAKING WEEKEND before Christmas. WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN EXACTLY? Is anyone else ready? I'm not ready. I'M NOT READY.

I am hosting Christmas for the first time ever so I have to make turkey and stuffing and potatoes and dessert and Christmas breakfast (waffles) and I have to make sure we have Christmas oranges and that Mariah Carey Christmas carols are playing (don't judge me- in my house Mariah belting out All I Want for Christmas means Christmas. If we have to part ways from here I will understand) and holy crap the pressure, THE PRESSURE!

Just kidding. Kind of. I am mildly (hyper) aware of the various things that I need to get in line before Santa makes his way down our chimney. It'll all work out just fine. The real meaning of Christmas has to do with us all being together and love and blah, blah, yadda, yadda.

It'll be fine. It'll all be just fine.

If you'll excuse me I am going to go and obsess over a Monstrous List of Things To Stress About now.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cujo Communing with Fire

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Umm. WTF is my dog doing? This is about as creepy as a dog looking out the window INTO THE BLACK and doing that low, gutteral growl thing at shit you can't see that makes you think HOLY CRAP MY DOG IS CUJO GET A PITCHFORK OR A PRIEST OR AN IRRESISTIBLE SQUEAKY TOY OR SOMETHING!!!

Aside from the communing with fire thing, Mickey is generally a sweet sort of dog. I think.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Bright Orange Wonderful

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I did something really, really dumb on Saturday. Something so dumb now, looking back, it makes me think WHAT THE HELL, SHAUNA? I know better than this. What the hell?

On Saturday I got to thinking. About stuff. You know what I'm talking about: THINKING ABOUT STUFF. Bad news, bad news...

At 2 o'clock in the afternoon I started to zone in on things that normally don't pop into my head until 2 o'clock in the morning. The kind of paranoia inducing things that leave me staring at the ceiling, forcing me talk to myself in that half stern, half pleading tone: "Okay now, STOP IT. Relax. You are just being silly. Everything is going to be FINE, and now, best case scenario, you are only going to get 4 hours and 29 minutes of sleep so FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY get a grip and go to SLEEEEEEP because the last time you got less than 4 hours of sleep you started to cry because BRUSHING YOUR HAIR WAS TOO HARD.

Yes. I got those shenanigans started a whole 12 hours early.

So, to cheer myself up I got purchased and consumed... wait for it... Kraft Singles. Oh no you di'int. Oh. Yes. I. Did. Kraft Singles are disgusting goodness and I watched on a commercial that they are AMERICAS CHEESE which is super sad because Holland has gouda and those monstrous, impressive looking cheese wheels so the fact that America has tiny processed cheese slices wrapped in plastic as their National Cheese is just depressing. Or so you would think. Maybe the fact that I am Canadian is what saved me from feeling too horrible about the state of America's cheese, but dare I say that unnaturrally orange consumable plastic went down nicely.

Next I watched a comedy called Funny People. Should be funny, right? It was mostly except THE MAIN CHARACTER HAD CANCER. WTF? Hi, movie writer people? CANCER SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED IN MOVIES WITH "FUNNY" AND "PEOPLE" IN THE TITLE. Because sometimes lazy people such as myself come along who judge movies based on the cover and/or title and we sure as hell don't read the back to get a better feel for what is going to happen in the movie. 90% of the time I read the back. For the other 10% I figure the title and cover is SO OBVIOUS I can conserve my energy for more important things like deciding between Nibs and Junior Mints. Just a quick FYI for you there. You may not have learned that in movie writer school. But let's jot that little gem down and do our best not to screw up like that again, shall we? Thanks much. Aside from the cancer business it was funny. NARROWLY DODGED A BULLET THERE MOVIE WRITER PEOPLE. Got my eye on you.

And so, to make up for the unfunny parts of Funny People, I plugged in my Christmas lights. I have one string lovingly draped around our two front windows and that definitely helped because glittery goodness helps everything and is dang cheerful.

All in all, crisis more or less averted. I have basically forgotten about the endless questions plaguing me: Why am here? Am I reaching my potential? Why am I not doing more? WHY AM I EATING BRIGHT ORANGE CHEESE?

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

B-Dog: "B" is for "Bad"

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It's hard to say with any great certaintly what the "B" in "B-Dog" stands for in the graffiti here. I am going to hope for the artists' sake that "B-Dog" is not their name. Because that would be a really stupid name.

For our purposes I am going to assume the "B" stands for "bad." That would make sense considering this and this and this.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ratty Red and Green Dog Toy... It's December!

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It's December you guys! Yahoo! I can talk about Christmas as much as I want now without getting shot.

This is going to be our FIRST Christmas with both of our dogs. Mickey was a part of our family last Christmas but he didn't come with us up to Prince George for the holidays (something about dog in plane cargo hold, no promise of heated cargo hold, Christmas moronic insanity, OHMYGOD MY NEW-ISH PUPPY IS GOING TO FREEZE TO DEATH A MILLION MILES IN THE AIR ALONE ON CHRISTMAS WHAT THE HELL KIND OF DOG MOTHER AM I. There is not enough wine/Christmas spirit/WINE to come back from that. Plus, there is no reasoning with someone (me) in that frame of mind). And we didn't adopt Kayloo until January. SO THIS IS GOING TO BE WICKED!

This is a picture of one our dilapidated Christmas dog toys. They love it. It squeaks. We love it less.

A couple more Christmas pics:

IS THAT FANTASTIC OR WHAT? Holy crap those pics make me laugh.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Here's to Awesome Wonderfulness!

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Reading up on what has been happening at the Toronto Humane Society the last few days has got me to thinking:

So fair enough, some horrible stuff happens out there, but you know what? Some SUPER WICKED FANTASTIC STUFF happens too!

That's right!

I'll bet that together, we know hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of wonderful, amazing and spectacular shelter and humane society employees and volunteers. I was thinking it would be nice to call some attention to all that wonderfulness- what do you think?

Ok! I'll start!

For John and I (and of course, Mickey) if it wasn't for PetFinder.com and the Victoria Pet Adoption Society we would never know the cuddly, slobbery, head-cocking goofiness of our not-so-little Kayloo. A special thank you to society employee Kay who took the time to interview John and I and inspect Kayloo's new home to ensure she was going to a great forever home.

How about you guys? Got some bouquets you want to spread around?

Something I would just like to mention quickly before wrapping up: There is a lot of work still to be done at the Toronto Humane Society. We know that. But it sounds like there are many people who did and are doing a lot of good there as well. Not everyone should be painted with the same brush.

If you have an organization or a person you would like to shine on it would be lovely if you would mention them in the comments! Or send me an email at fidoandwino(at)gmail.com if you would like to share your thoughts that way.

Thank you to all you wonderful people doing your best to be the guardians of the innocent animals in your care.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Toronto Humane Society: Animal Cruelty Charges?

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On Thursday I came across an article in the Globe and Mail that was depressing and disappointing and crushing and made me so effing irate it made me want to scream:

Humane Society Officals arrested, face animal-cruelty charges

To sum it up for you:
  • the Toronto Humane Society's president, Tim Trow, chief veterenarian and three senior staff officials face criminal charges of animal cruelty;

  • the Ontario SPCA's lawyer says the shelter is "disease-infested";

  • the Humane Society vehemently disagrees (of course) and says the animals are under "excellent veterinary care."

During an investigation in June 2009 animals in poor condition were allegedly hidden from view inhibiting the investigators ability to complete their inspection. There have also been reports that the society's euthanasia policy is too strict, resulting in suffering animals dying in their cages rather than being humanely put down. The Globe and Mail suggests they keep euthanasia rates low (at 6%) to attract private donations "that are the society's sole source of operating funds."

Holy shit. How is this even happening? I'm not sure where to start.

How on earth did this get so out of hand? Trow was first pushed out of his position as president back in 1982 when he and other society officers were accused of implementing policies that, amongst other things, caused cruelty to animals. HOW IN THE HELL DO YOU GET A JOB WITH THAT KIND OF THING ON YOUR RESUME? I'm not sure he could get a job at Starbucks with that kind of track record, who thought President of a Humane society would be a good fit? Especially after it seems he screwed it up the first time.

Why are we only hearing about this now? Apparently current and past employees dismayed with the Humane Society's practices turned to the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Canada Revenue Agency, the College of Veterinarians of Ontario and Ontario's Ministry of the Attorney General, to no avail. Let's just assume they didn't just write one measly email and actually put some real effort into being heard. Why didn't anyone listen? Why didn't anyone want to help? If these pictures are representative of the dismal conditions at the society (and not just cherry picked to sensationalize the issue), why weren't the voices loud enough to be heard and the ears sensitive enough to pick up on the injustice and do whatever needed to be done to stop it?

There is all kinds of political back and forth but the crux of the issue is this- when we put ourselves in the position to take care of someone or something, it is our responsibility to carry out that obligation to the best of our abilities. I've ranted on about this before (here): I believe we all know the difference between right and wrong. If Trow and his team neglected the animals in their care this is clearly wrong. Given the positions of trust they held, and the fact they were supposed to uphold the mission of a HUMANE SOCIETY, this act of wrong is beyond excusable.

Not only will they have wronged the animals in their care, they will have cast a shadow of distrust every other humane society out there.

If these humane society employees are found not guilty, what does this say about the duty of care a humane society has for its animals? What does it say about the society's detractors and the Ontario SPCA making these charges in the first place?

If they are found guilty, how much of it is our fault for letting it carry on?

Either way it stands as a reminder that we cannot afford to sit back and assume that things are being taken care of. We must always demand transparency, investigate and hold our leaders accountable to their actions.

If I am missing something, by all means, please share.


Mon, Jan 11, 2010 update: Humane Society court cases put over until Feb 2 (via CBCnews)


Mon, Jan 11, 2010 update: New arrests in investigation of Humane Society (via National Post)


Sat, Dec 5th update: At scandals core is a legitimate debate (via thestar.com)

Summary: There has been a long standing rivalry between the Toronto Humane Society and the OSPCA. Part of the story is about money (the Humane Society pulls in over $10 million a year, another part is about euthanasia policies...


Wed, December 2nd update: Humane Society hires top criminal lawyer (via thestar.com)


Tues, December 1st update: Humane society's raccoon handling probed (via CBCnews)

Summary: There are suspicions the society may have violated laws on releasing raccoons. Authorities are also not able to adopt the approximately 1,000 animals at the society until it reopens (which could be weeks).


Mon, November 30th update: Cruelty Charges stuns "fantastic" vets' friends (via thestar.com)

Excerpt: "Past and present colleagues describe Stephen Sheridan as a dedicated animal activist..."


Mon, November 30th update: Toronto Humane Society remains closed (via CBCnews)

Excerpt: "The Toronto Humane Society will not reopen Tuesday and could be shuttered for 'at least three weeks,' according to the chief investigator for the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals... There are about 1,000 animals in the shelter. They were initially scheduled to be put up for adoption Tuesday."

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