The sun may yet come out for Buddy.
After three days of open houses and dozens of visitors, the dog in need of a home has nine people interested enough in adopting her that they have filled out applications with the .
The spotlight first focused on Buddy in February, when she starred in the Rhode Island Youth Theatre’s production of “Annie.” The director of the show, Kim Kalunian, had wanted to use a shelter dog to play the role of Sandy.
“I called Tammy out of the blue and said, ‘I have a strange request,’” said Kalunian, referring to Tammy Flanagan, who manages the EGAPL. But it wasn’t too strange a request for Flanagan, so Buddy had her star turn in the production. Both Kalunian and Flanagan thought Buddy would be adopted easily after the exposure in the show, but it didn’t happen.
After two front-page stories in the Providence Journal this past week — one which reported, incorrectly according to Flanagan, that Buddy was going to be euthanized yesterday if no one came forward — the EGAPL was deluged with requests to meet the dog. Flanagan said there was never a definite date to put down Buddy, but that they would not keep her in the shelter indefinitely.
“It’s a very poor quality of life to be living in a shelter,” said Flanagan. Buddy needs surgery to correct a cruciate ligament tear, the cost of which could run more than $1,000. But Flanagan said EPAPL would finance the operation if a good home could be arranged first. The cost of boarding a dog at Greenwich Bay Animal Hospital is more than $400 a week.
“It was never, 'We’re not going to pay for the surgery,’” said Flanagan, explaining he shelter wanted a home for Buddy before going to the expense.
The attention has been great, Flanagan said, but also a little frustrating. “There are so many animals in need of adoption. If Buddy hadn’t been in that play, no one would pay attention,” she said.
Kalunian, who had never been to a shelter before she decided she wanted to use a shelter dog for “Annie,” said she hoped all the attention on Buddy would be good for all the dogs in need of a home.
“I think people need a periodic reminder that it’s not just one dog — lot of dogs need homes,” Kalunian said.
As for Buddy, even with the cost of the surgery covered, she is not the easiest dog to place. Recuperation from the surgery will take six to eight weeks, according to Flanagan. She does not always get along with other animals, so she would need a home with no other pets. In addition, as happens with some older dogs, Buddy needs to be taken out to relieve herself every couple of hours, Flanagan said. But she said that Buddy gets through the night without a problem.
On Saturday, Kristen Lupoli and her boyfriend Brandon Lowy visited Buddy. “I lost my dog. I knew I wanted another one but I was waiting for the right one,” said Lupoli. “I’ve been to several shelters and seen a lot of dogs and I was always hesitant. I don’t know how to explain it — this time I wasn’t.”
Lupoli left a completed application, which joins eight others that Flanagan will review. Flanagan said she hopes to have a home for Buddy by midweek. As for the other dogs and cats, they will remain at the shelter, awaiting their own star turns.