SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – “URGENT, PLEASE HELP GET THESE BOYS ADOPTED!” The Central New York SPCA’s Facebook page urged viewers to look at the shelter’s two longest residents: a dog named T-bone and a dog named Michael.
In October 2022, Michael was collected and brought to the CNY SPCA, and in February of 2023, T-bone was also brought to the shelter. Since then, these dogs have tried their best to get adopted but haven’t had much luck. The director of the CNY SPCA, Troy Waffner, says it’s not their fault. There are a lot of animals at the shelter who want to find homes just as much as T-bone and Michael.
“You go down through the kennels, and you see 70 dogs and it’s hard to pick which one you want to take home,” says Waffner.
Since the CNY SPCA is a no-kill shelter, those 70 dogs will wait until they get adopted to leave. All that waiting can leave an animal bored. Like many shelters, the CNY SPCA relies on its volunteers to help try and keep the dogs from becoming depressed during their stay.
“Our volunteers come in and they walk the dogs, they play with the dogs, they help train the dogs, you know we have volunteers who work in our playgroups and run the playgroups where they get all the animals together that are good with other dogs to play,” Waffner says. “The idea is just to get them out of their kennel and provide some enrichment and some socialization and calm them down.”
But there are a lot of animals and only so many volunteers. According to Waffner, the CNY SPCA is always looking for volunteers.
“Whether you can do one day a week or five days a week, every hour that’s spent helping the animals is an hour well spent for, hopefully the person, but certainly for us.”
While a handful of shelters also offer fostering to get the animals out of their cages for longer periods, the CNY SPCA only has foster programs in place for cats. At least for right now. According to Waffner, cats are usually easier to foster than dogs because many of the dogs come from such unknown backgrounds, which is why CNY SPCA hasn’t offered any fostering for dogs yet. But plans to add a dog foster program are in the works. Like with the cat foster program, the CNY SPCA will provide all the necessities for a dog and only ask foster families to volunteer their time.
“We pay for all the medical care, all the dog food, everything you need for the dog. It’s really just your time and commitment to that animal,” says Waffner.
Waffner says they’re currently putting together the guidelines for the program and he hopes it will be ready to start by November at the latest. As for the long-time residents, T-bone and Michael, their long wait for a home might soon be over. Waffner says since the post on Facebook, both dogs have received a few adoption applications and he’s hopeful that they’ll find their forever homes soon.