February 27, 2021 — The staff of the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) is preparing for a friendly takeover next week. On Wednesday, March 3, long-time shelter resident Max will be at the helm; Executive Director Stacie Haynes will be relegated to Max’s dog kennel for the day.
The purpose of this exercise is to drive home to the public what an extended stay means for shelter dogs, and the importance of rehoming animals as quickly as possible.
“March 3 marks Max’s 444th day here at our shelter,” explained Haynes. “Max has been living in a kennel for over a year, with no comfy couch, no home or human to call his own, and an ever-changing parade of complete strangers judging both him and his behavior. Before that, he was in a different shelter for about four months.”
Shelter staff and volunteers do their best to provide enrichment, affection and a sense of normalcy for dogs like Max but, in reality, these efforts are little solace during an extended stay.
“Max will not be truly happy until he finds his forever home,” Haynes said.
In an effort to raise awareness of the plight of shelter dogs in general and Max in particular, Haynes will switch places with the 5-year-old pit bull terrier mix next Wednesday. Max will preside over the shelter from the Executive Director’s office while Haynes spends 444 minutes in a concrete kennel.
According to Haynes, “Max will take care of business with the staff as I languish in his kennel by myself, with the occasional bathroom break and an enrichment toy or two, watching people and dogs pass me by throughout the day.”
Max will enjoy the comfort and relative quiet of the front office, while Haynes is forced to try to relax amid the overstimulating distractions of kennels being cleaned, feeding time, public viewing and a lot of dogs barking.
“My 444 minutes in a kennel is just a drop in the bucket compared to how long Max has had to wait to get out of a shelter and into a real home where he can truly relax and be himself,” Haynes continued. “Our hope is that by bringing attention to Max’s story — and the plight of shelter dogs in general — we can help him make his perfect match.”
“His guardian angel is out there somewhere,” she said.
Max is described by Haynes, shelter staff and SQSPCA volunteers as a terrific dog who enjoys bouncy balls, snuggling on the couch, long walks and swimming in the creek on hot summer days.
How will Max do on his first Zoom conference? Stay tuned …
To learn more about Max, call 607-547-8111, extension 102.