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Rescue dog finally lands 'forever home' after swapping places with shelter director

When Max first arrived at the Susquehanna SPCA shelter, the workers didn't think he'd stay long. The 5-year-old pit bull terrier mix was sweet and friendly—which ironically led to a longer than normal stay. As of March 3, he had been at the shelter for 444 days.

"When he came here, we thought he would find his home easily because he is such a nice guy," executive director Stacie Haynes told Fox 5 News. "Turns out, he just kept getting looked over and he wasn't on our radar as an urgent dog to get out because he is just so sweet."

Max stepped into the limelight recently when Haynes swapped places with the dog for a day in an effort to raise awareness about the shelter and educate people about what life is like for a shelter dog. Max got to hang out in Haynes's office and even wore a tie for the day, while Haynes did her work on Max's bed in his kennel (with an occasional bathroom break, some enrichment activities, and people walking by to check her out, she said).

Haynes told WBGN that Max didn't really know life outside the shelter, having been there so long.


"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."

However, shelter life is generally hard on dogs, as they're constantly trying to protect their space from different people coming through. "You're constantly trying to make sure you're safe," said Haynes.

Dogs often become anxious when they're sheltered too long, always on alert and prone to panic. But Max's response was different. The longer he stayed, the more he became depressed and lethargic, sometimes staring at a wall.

Haynes said the 444 minutes she spent in the kennel gave her an extra dose of empathy for Max. Shelters provide a wonderful service, giving animals food and a place to live while trying to find them permanent arrangements, but they aren't meant to be long-term.

"Time feels like it's stood still. It has gone very, very slowly. I can understand why Max is staring at the wall. I found myself sitting here trying to count the links of the chain link," Haynes said of her time in the kennel.

The dog-director day swap got the attention of local news agencies, which led Ed Panus of Moravia, New York to come to the shelter to meet Max. Panus said he felt an instant connection with the doggo.

"I noticed he was almost like the dog I had that passed away here at the end of last year," Panus told WBNG News 12.

So after 450 days living at the Susquehanna SPCA and four months at a different shelter before that, Max has finally found his forever home with Panus.

The shelter had said that when Max was adopted, they would help provide a behavioral specialist to ease him through the transition from shelter life to home life. So far, so good it seems. Panus said Max immediately made himself at home, even jumping right into Panus's human bed.

Congratulations Ed and Max! Hope you both enjoy your new life together.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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