If you've ever been saved by a rescue pet, then you know the indescribable value of adopting a pet like King Charles puppy mill rescue Toast, who got a rough start to life but brought an immense amount of joy to the Instagram community. Pet lovers are mourning the death of Toast, the dog behind the Instagram @ToastMeetsWorld, a sprightly spaniel who raised awareness about the abuse and neglect these dogs endure in the name of profit. On Dec. 15, an Instagram post on @ToastMeetsWorld announced her passing.
"Heaven has a new star tonight. We’re heartbroken to share the news that Toast has passed. This puppy mill rescue had an exceptional life. She wrote a book, had a televised wedding, appears on billboards across the country promoting rescue and modeled for an international eyewear campaign," the caption on the post stated.
According to Toast's official website, Toast suffered such neglect in a puppy mill that when her human mom, Kate Sturino of @the12ishstyle fame, adopted her in 2011, all of her teeth were rotten. "My mouth used to smell like what I imagine actual hell smells like until all my rotten teeth were removed," Toast explained on her website, which she no doubt had some help with from her loyal human. If you're not informed about puppy mills, they're basically breeding factories for purebred dogs that are sold online and in pet stores. Many of the dogs that come from puppy mills are sick, and the dogs used to breed these puppies are known to suffer horrific neglect.
If you're plan to add a pet to your family, it's always best to save a four-legged friend from a rescue or shelter. While you might have to put in a little more work to welcome a rescue dog into your home, the rewards are tenfold. I adopted my dog from a rescue that saves street dogs from Puerto Rico. And, like Toast, my girl BiBi is as feisty as she is lovable. Even though they can be frustrating AF on occasion because of their specific issues from their early-life traumas, these dogs make us laugh every single day, just like Toast made the world laugh and cry.
"Toast was often a little devil. Grabbing rolls of toilet paper off and dragging them into the living room for a snack. Peeing whenever/wherever she wanted to," the four-legged Instagram influencer's post noted. "Pretending not to be able to jump on the couch because she just wanted a ride. And snoring like a 400 lb. trucker."
But, just because Toast has crossed the rainbow bridge, that doesn't mean her work is over. Tributes to Toast will be posted over the next several weeks, and Toast's humans are calling on fans and pet lovers alike to keep Toast's message of love and rescue alive.
"If Toast has inspired you or taught you about rescue please consider donating to the link in the bio," the Instagram caption states. "100 [percent of] the donations will go to her three favorite charities. If you would like to show your love for Toast, and the tongue that will never be forgotten, please post a photo using #ToastMeetsHeaven so we can see."
Because she didn't have any teeth, Toast's tongue regularly dangled out the side of her mouth like a little flag, but if you think her lack of chompers kept this King Charles spaniel from enjoying her favorite foods, think again. On her website, when asked what she eats, Toast responded, "Everything. Anything. My jaws could crush a can. On the day-to-day I prefer a mix of soft and hard food per my vets recommendation. I also love tacos. LOVE THEM."
Toast enjoyed one of her last days on Earth at her favorite place — the beach. Monetary tributes in Toast's memory will go to the Humane Society US Humane Generation, which works tirelessly to change legislation all over the country to make puppy mills illegal; National Mill Dog Rescue, which works to rescue, rehabilitate, and re-home discarded breeding dogs and to educate the general public about the cruel realities of the commercial dog breeding industry; and True & Faithful Pet Rescue Mission, which focuses on rescuing dogs from high kill shelters, from puppy mills, and from the streets to place them in safe and loving homes.
Rest in Power, Toast. Thank you for raising awareness and bringing joy to the world with your sideways tongue, your amazing fashion sense, and your message of love and rescue over people's relentless desire for profit. You will be missed.