SPCA gearing up for Maddie's Pet Adoption Days, a free adoption weekend

May 29, 2014

"The goal of Maddie's Adoption Days is to find homes for 10,000 animals nationally," says SPCA of Tompkins County executive director Jim Bouderau, as the non-profit pet shelter and adoption agency gears up for a weekend of free adoptions on May 31st and June 1st.

"We ourselves hope to find homes for as many as 100 animals during this special weekend," says Bouderau. "They are all adorable," he tells us of the many dogs (most under a year old) and cats available for adoption. "As of this morning, all of the available dogs are available on our web site for folks to check out, as well as cats and kittens here and at the annex." Area residents interested in previewing the available animals can visit spcaonline.com.

"Maddie" visits the Ithaca Farmers Market to promote Maddie's Adoption Days at the SPCA. Photo provided."Maddie" visits the Ithaca Farmers Market to promote Maddie's Adoption Days at the SPCA. Photo provided.Maddie's Fund, the non-profit behind the nationwide event, was formerly the Duffield Family Foundation. Created by Cornell alum and PeopleSoft founder David Duffield and renamed in 1999 after the family's miniature schnauzer, the organization hopes to create "a no-kill nation where all healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats are guaranteed a loving home." Maddie's Pet Adoption Days began in 2010 in San Francisco, and to date, the foundation has given $11.4 million to participating groups that have placed a total of 15,154 dogs and cats in adoptive homes through these events.

Participating shelters and rescue organizations will receive donations from Maddie's Fund starting at $500 per adopted healthy cat or dog, and adoptions are free to adopters for the weekend. (Adoption fees generally run from $55 to $300 depending on the type and age of the animal.) The foundation is donating $1,000 per adoption of a senior animal or one that needs medical treatment, and $2,000 per adopted dog or cat that's both senior (over seven years of age) and in need of extra TLC.

More than 200 shelters and rescue groups in 14 communities across nine states will be participating this weekend. If you're not in Ithaca, check adopt.maddiesfund.org to see if there's an adoption agency near you participating.

Cody, a toy poodle mix from Georgia, getting a warm welcome from SPCA associate executive director Pam Stonebreaker.Cody, a toy poodle mix from Georgia, getting a warm welcome from SPCA associate executive director Pam Stonebreaker."We expect so many people looking for shelter pets that we worked with two rescue groups to bring in more dogs for the event," says Bouderau. "All 21 little dogs were almost out of time," adds SPCA director of development and marketing Maggie Thomas of the dogs who were brought in from shelters that were out of space. "A dozen staff members were on hand to help check in each dog, feed and water them, and situate them in clean kennels to start getting them ready" for this weekend's event.

Lots of animals on hand have been at the SPCA for a while, including Fiona, a cat whose one-year anniversary at the shelter is this weekend, and Beauty, a small pit bull mix who used to be chained outside in her past life, but is sweet and sociable and loves children.

The SPCA is open extra hours and with extra staff on hand, both at their Hanshaw Road location and their Annex at the Shops at Ithaca Mall, so potential adopters can meet the animals and work on filling out the paperwork ahead of this weekend.

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