Photo: Ryan Megaffin/Save Our Scruff.
Carlton Banks had been with Save Our Scruff, a Toronto- and southern Ontario-based dog rescue and re-home charity, longer than any other dog they’ve ever had. The Rottweiler went without a permanent home largely because his high-energy was often mistaken for aggression. Without a foster home, Carlton lived with SOS’s trainers and boarders for two-and-a-half years.
Save Our Scruff is one of the official charities of the 2018 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. All money raised goes directly to help rescue, transport, vet and feed the puppies and dogs of Save Our Scruff. It’s the first time Save Our Scruff is working with the STWM as part of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, which allows 100 per cent of funds raised to go directly to the partnering charities as Scotiabank covers the fees of online fundraising. The charity challenge offers a key fundraising opportunity for local nonprofits.
Moe Bsat and Jenna Wetterauer are Toronto-based runners and regulars at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon every October. Bsat used to own a Rottweiler. One day, they were scrolling through the Instagram Explore feature, which curates content based on users’ preferences. A Save Our Scruff photo appeared.
In late-November, Save Our Scruff shared a photo of Carlton to Instagram. The caption reads: “While his situation is somewhat better than before, he is not living his best life. Carlton has a lot of energy and love to give and we can’t provide him what all that he deserves while in boarding (think: drinking five coffees and then sitting in a room with nothing to do). He’s worked so hard at training and has no one to show off to.” The post welcomed monetary donations and encouraged followers to spread awareness in hopes of finding Carlton a permanent home.
Bsat and Wetterauer submitted an adoption application and met with Carlton around Christmas 2017. The beginning-to-end process includes an initial application, a call with an adoption counsellor, followed by a meet and greet with the foster of the dog. Then, applications are approved, if the fit is right. (Save Our Scruff is 100 per cent foster-based, meaning all available dogs live in temporary foster homes, rather than in a shelter space.)
Carlton was in the engaged couple’s home by early January. “Save Our Scruff have a great screening process and they genuinely care about the dogs,” Bsat says. “They don’t want the adoption to be a failure.”
These days, Carlton, who shares the same name as a The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air character, runs about 25-30K per week, less in the spring and summer months because of the heat than in the winter. Morning (6 a.m.) runs (he was leash-trained well by his previous boarders, Bsat says) typically mellow him out until 3 p.m., then round two comes in the form of walk, or stick-chasing. Runs are typically 5-7K with a high of 15K, either on West Toronto’s Railpath or in High Park. Carlton is three, and has higher energy than other Rottweiler, Bsat says.
Wetterauer says of a stand-out moment with Carlton, “Going for a run with [him] on my own for the first time. Usually Moe goes with him but we went out together and the experience was so rewarding. He loves to run and is so well behaved on his leash, minus when he sees a piece of tissue that he has to eat.”
“[Also], bringing Carls to my cousin’s place in the country,” she says of other memorable moments. “It was the first time we let him off-leash to play with my cousin’s dog and seeing how happy he was, was so touching!”
Fittingly, as the two discovered Carlton in part with the help of Instagram, he has his own account, @mistercarltonbanks, documenting his daily life, like visiting the trendiest coffee shops in Toronto.
Save Our Scruff is one of close to 200 charity partners participating in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge as part of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Read more about the Scotiabank Charity Challenge here.
Registration for the Oct. 21 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is currently open.