A Pit Bull named Max has spent over 440 days at the Susquehanna SPCA in New York. He’s the longest current resident, and staff find it unfair that such a sweet dog keeps getting overlooked. So, the shelter devised a plan to draw more attention to the charming pup.
Shelter director Stacie Haynes chose to swap places with the 5-year-old Pit Bull for a day. She knows that staying at a shelter for too long can take a toll on any animal’s emotional state. So, she wanted to give Max a day of luxury while she spent a day in his kennel. It helped her become even more empathetic for dogs in need.
For a day, Haynes and Max experienced each other’s lives. Max got to relax in the office while Haynes stayed in Max’s kennel for over 7 hours! Max was spoiled with extra attention, including a tasty cheeseburger for lunch. He also wore a tie to mark the occasion.
Haynes’ day was much less comfortable, though. She spent the day lying around on a small dog bed. She quickly understood how hard life at the shelter is for dogs like Max.
“The morning was very loud. I could see where if you’re a dog that’s scared or you’re a dog that is not really sure what’s going on – the sounds of the dishes clinging, the bowls hitting the concrete, could be really scary. As the day went on, things got a little bit quiet but that was also sort of a jarring experience,” said Haynes.
Haynes even found herself staring at walls and counting the number of chain links in the kennel door. It explained why Max seemed depressed and unmotivated after so much time there. And it made Haynes even more determined to find him a home.
Max adored his day in the office, but he still wants a forever home more than anything. Despite waiting for over a year, Max is very friendly to everyone. When staff or visitors see him, he’s always excited and loving.
“He’s a very good boy. He’s very friendly, he comes up to the kennel wagging his tail,” said Haynes. “He just wants to be your friend.”
The shelter says that Max would do best in a home with no cats or young children. If the family already has a dog, their furry friends will have to meet Max to ensure they get along. When this sweet pup is finally adopted, the shelter will provide a behavior specialist to make the transition as easy as possible.