The SPCA’s kennels are packed at 20 percent over capacity, so the animal care center on 16th Street is waiving the $400 adoption fee for any dog five months or older.
The center periodically runs short-term adoption promotions for harder-to-place older or larger dogs, and the Summer of Lovin’ program, launched this month, significantly extends the promotion.
“This year, we have a more pressing need for dogs of all ages, so we broadened the age range and focused on all adult dogs,” said Chief of Rescue and Welfare Lisa Feder.
Feder attributed the oversupply of dogs to the end of the pandemic and a return to travel and work. At present, the center has 25 dogs up for adoption; generally, it has 20 dogs. The candidates include American Blue Heelers and a Rottweiler, in sizes ranging from 19 pounds to 70 pounds.
Since the summer program launched in early June, 20 dogs have been adopted, Feder said.
The center’s goal is to place a dog within 12 days of arriving at the SPCA. “After that, the dog becomes depressed,” said Feder.
Even though the center keeps the animals in relatively spacious rooms filled with toys and beds, she said dogs lose their appetites and become lethargic after their length of stay passes the 10-day threshold. Right now, the majority of the big dogs — the ones that have been most difficult to place — have been there for some 20 days.
“There’s this misconception that dogs take a lot of work if they are bigger. But that has more to do with their personalities,” said Feder.
Han, a prospective dog owner, was a case in point. She peered into a kennel at Lily who, at 30 pounds, was on the edge of being too big for Han.
When Han entered the room to meet Lily, a mixed breed, it seemed like love at first sight, but Han hesitated. Her last dog grew into a 45-pounder, and when the dog became sick, Han said, she struggled to pick her up and care for her.
“I know I shouldn’t put so much emphasis on the end, when there was so much life, but I feel a lot of guilt about that,” she said.
“She’s a cutie,” Han said. “But that’s a lot of dog for me,” Han said back in the center’s lobby. Han said she was going to think about it.
And, one day later, Lily was adopted.
Learn more about the Summer of Lovin’ program here.