City of Toronto  

Living in TorontoDoing businessVisiting TorontoAccessing City Hall
All news releases
Last 30 days
By month
Archived news release by year
  2012 - 2011 - 2010
  2009 - 2008 - 2007
  2006 - 2005 - 2004
  2003 - 2002 - 2001
  2000 - 1999 - 1998
RSS identifier linked to feed RSS
December 5, 2012
Foster volunteer and donations save Twiggy the dog
Donation dollars and foster volunteers along with staff at Toronto Animal Services together saved Twiggy's life. This story illustrates how important those donations are, and highlights the value on the foster program.

On June 27 of this year, Toronto Animal Services received a phone call about a stray dog. The dog, a young un-spayed female, was picked up and brought into the Toronto Animal Services east region shelter where staff named her Twiggy. She was a medium to large dog in height, but at only 19 pounds, she was one of the thinnest dogs the staff had ever seen. She was very sick, pale and depressed, but her appetite seemed normal.

Despite care during her first few days at the shelter, Twiggy's condition worsened. Test results were inconclusive. She was hospitalized on July 4, at Rouge Valley Animal Hospital where she was diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (an inability to properly digest food due to lack of digestive enzymes made by the pancreas). On July 5, she was transferred to Toronto Veterinary Emergency Hospital and Referral Clinic for treatment and further diagnostics.

With treatment, Twiggy slowly got better. Two weeks after starting treatment, she had gained more than two pounds, and was becoming more active. She was discharged from the hospital and placed in a foster home through Toronto Animal Services to continue her treatment.

It soon became apparent that Twiggy wasn't walking normally. This had not been noticed earlier because Twiggy had been so lethargic. She didn't appear to be in any pain and other than her walking, her health was improving. Twiggy soon weighed almost 28 pounds - gaining almost 50 per cent of her initial body weight.

With the added weight, however, it was obvious the issues with her leg needed to be addressed. Twiggy received more tests and an orthopaedic examination. Her veterinarian found that the ligament over her knee was ruptured and her hip joint was dislocated. Twiggy was going to need surgery, but since she wasn't in pain, she would have to get healthier before the procedure could be done.

Finally, on September 19, Twiggy underwent surgery. She spent her recovery with her volunteer foster parent and has blossomed into a normal, healthy, wonderful companion.

Twiggy's treatment and surgery was made possible by donations to Toronto Animal Services and the generosity of her volunteer foster parent. Without these two crucial elements, Twiggy would almost certainly have died.

Twiggy is being adopted by her foster family where she will now be able to live happily in a permanent home.

The volunteer foster program provides temporary homes to shelter animals requiring extra care and growth outside of the shelter to prepare them for adoption. Foster parents provide a temporary loving and caring environment for the animal to thrive.

Donations support programs such as spay/neuter, extended veterinary care, shelter enhancements or pet adoptions that can all make the difference between life and death for a shelter animal.

For more information visit to become an animal foster parent, to make a donation or to adopt a pet.

Note to media:
• Photos of Twiggy are available at the above website.
• Arrangements will be made to bring Twiggy from her foster home to the east shelter for filming on December 5 and 6.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Bruce Hawkins
Senior Communications Coordinator



Toronto maps | Get involved | Toronto links
© City of Toronto 1998-2019