Always the first full week in May, National Pet Week® is dedicated to celebrating the more than 200 million pets that enrich our lives each and every day.  Throughout the course of the year, GTHS features our adopted pets.  This week, we polled our staff at the Shelter to provide stories about how their very own GTHS adopted pet enriches their lives 🙂

Lynne and Ava

Ava was found in a chicken coup in Meaford…..making herself a little “KFC” …..because she was literally starving.  The farmer was within his rights to shoot her but thankfully he was a kind man and called Bylaw to come and get her.  She was brought into the GTHS.  She came in dirty,crawling on her belly and terrified.  But that’s OK because that’s what we’re here for.

We checked her out and discovered that she had a multitude of health and behavioural issues.  Her feet were a terrible mess and she nasty staph infection.  She was incredibly thin and didn’t want to eat.  She was so scared and we discovered had food allergies.  She had buck shot in her body from being shot 🙁  She was terrified and didn’t enjoy being looked at or touched.  But that’s OK because that’s what we’re here for.

Mountain Vista spayed her, got her on a couple of meds, suggested an expensive good quality food, removed the buckshot and did a Biopsy  to see exactly why she was so itchy.  It was  all expensive  – but that’s OK-  that’s what we’re here for.

She came back to the Shelter were she continued to struggle to walk-  her feet hurt and she was terrified.  She did not want to eat-  she was shutting down.

But that’s OK-  because the GTHS has incredibly kind and patient volunteers who tried every day to help her.

We adopted her out to a kind family but that only lasted a few days.  They found her physical and emotional needs too much for them to handle. We welcomed her back into our care.  But that’s OK because that’s what we’re here for and we all really liked Ava.

Many dogs were in need of our care and we had more dogs than we had room for at this time.  So, my family and l decided to foster her in our home.  It was a bit of a risk as she was sick and we had 3 cats at home to keep safe.  But that’s OK because we had a real soft spot for this poor girl with all she had been through.

She was a lot of work.  We had to soak and apply meds to her feet twice a day.  We had to hand feed HER and act as cheerleaders twice a day to get food into her. We had to move slowly and  speak quietly around her –  and if you know me and my family –  you know this was a real adjustment as we are  quite an “animated and boisterous” family 🙂 But that’s OK because we were falling in love with her.

She gained weight over time.  Her feet were slowly healing.  She became accustomed to living with us.  She stopped just about jumping through the roof when the toaster popped.  She and our cats started becoming comfortable with each other – although my reflexes were put to the test a few times!  She was even moving around the house a little on her own.  This is all great because we love her!

Instead of bringing a now healthier Ava back to the shelter in hopes of finding a forever home we decided to adopt her into ours.  Because we love her!

Eight months later, Ava is healthy and much more confident 🙂  She eats her Dogs We Love food with gusto-  does a little happy dance before she eats now.  Celebrates every morning when we wake up by racing from one end of our bedroom to the other-  it’s pretty hysterical to watch. And she loves to go for her twice daily walks all around town wearing her canny collar.  This all makes us so happy and proud.  Because we ADORE her!!

She is Ava Patterson and we are lucky to have her 🙂

~ Lynne, Dog Care and Adoption Supervisor

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Lynne At Home with her other Fur-Children!










Stay informed on GTHS events, initiatives and programs. Learn how the GTHS team is serving the pets and people of the South Georgian Bay Area. Read heart-warming Happy Tails about GTHS Alumni. See a lot of really cute pictures of dogs and cats!