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EG Star Dog Attracts Attention, Maybe A Home

Buddy, who played Sandy in a production of "Annie," is one of a few dogs and many cats at the EG Animal Protection League in need of a home.

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.

EG826 April 18, 2011 at 02:41 PM
I think it is very unfortunate that the theater group used this poor dog for its play and then just dumped him back in a shelter. I find it difficult to believe that NO one involved in the production of the play could open their home to this poor old dog once they no longer needed him for their own purposes – even just temporarily while trying to find a permanent home for him so he wouldn’t have had to go back to a shelter. I’m glad they chose to use a shelter dog for this role, but I also think that they should have taken responsibility for this dog as more than a prop in their play. All of the shelters do their best, but are often crowded and stretched thin for funds and resources. It would have been nice if the theater company had taken the responsibility of making sure this ONE dog got a good home after he “saved their show”. I say, shame on them!
Carl I. Hoyer April 18, 2011 at 04:07 PM
Buddy's dilemma may well be a blessing in disguise as it affords citizens to learn what the E.Greenwich Animal Protection League does. The Town does NOT have a animal pound and for at least the last 20 years, EGAPL has taken in cats and dogs who have been lost ,strayed,abandoned, etc. and made them available for adoption., thereby saving the taxpayers of EG about $100,000 a year. While the Town of East Greenwich does provide a grant each year, it was cut back last year, meaning that the League had to work evn harder to make up the difference. EGAPL volunteers run food sales, rummage sales and other activities to try to keep the group viable and to be able to continue to help our speechless furry friends. I know times are tough (but that's when the tough get going) but if you can find it in your heart to do so, a donation in any amount would be most appreciated and be SO helpful in allowing the League to do their good work. Donations can be sent to E.Greenwich Animal Protection League P>O> Box 184 E. Greenwich, RI 02818. Note that the group is a designated non-profit for tax purposes so donations are tax deductible if you iemize deductions. 'nuff said! (and, thank you....)
laj2 April 18, 2011 at 11:34 PM
I wish EG826 would have read the article, before using this forum for bashing. RIYT did it's best to find Buddy a home, however because of Buddy's intolerance to other animals she has been very difficult to place. If you had followed any of the recent media, ie: the Providence Journal, Channel 10 news, Channel 6 news you would be aware that along with fundraisng, Facebook postings and e-mail RIYT has continually been trying to find a home for Buddy. I say, SHAME ON YOU for not knowing the facts !
linda marie anthony May 16, 2011 at 01:24 AM
the people who used buddy in annie should have respected buddy and took buddy in as a foster animal not propose to put buddy to sleep because of health reasons... our society is so dam reckless when it comes down to the treatment of any animal and this goes out to all animal shelters etc.....and this has been a disturbing trend for all animals and for us humans...i have my hands tied...i cannot have a dog where i live plus i have a traumatic brain injury and i use to be a dog walker... i even walked a 165 lb great dane. i'm 5 ft 7 in weigh 117 lbs..pitbulls and lots more and all these dogs i could handle...i can't even volunteer to walk a shelter dog...and it breaks my heart.. but with this head injury...my life came to a standstill on april 10th 2006...and i could never walk or have a dog...i was left w/o any balance..so i'm deadended...anyway please don't PTS any animals unless they are seriously injured rip all animals that have to cross over the rainbow bridge and i'm on low income but i will try my very best to help THE EGAPL..every month but it may be only 10-20..00's i have cats, one too many..well one can never have too many and all are fixed or neutered so i couldn't adopt a furbaby...breaks my heart... well thank you for listening and you taking their life from them is truly not a fair conclusion to their lives..please have a heart how can you people sleep at nite...sincerely...linda beliveau-anthony
EG228 December 29, 2011 at 03:27 PM
Excuse me LAJ2 but I do not believe that EG826 was "bashing" at all. It seems as if they were right on target. You're telling me that not ONE person from that show has no other animals (as you said Buddy has an intolerance to other animals) and couldn't foster Buddy until they found him a forever home? Since that did not happen he most certainly was used as a prop. That poor dog had to go back to the animal shelter after he was given a short glimpse of hope because they didn't need him anymore and the dog was now inconvenient to everyone in the show. Funny how things are so convenient sometimes and as soon as they are a "hassle" everyone disappears. Yes, there were "fundraising" efforts made and people/media trying to find Buddy a home but that could have been done just as well with Buddy being comfortable in a foster home. SHAME ON YOU for being an ignorant person and not realizing how sad Buddy must have felt walking back into the shelter, a place that he thought he would never see again.
EG826 December 29, 2011 at 05:11 PM
Thanks EGfav228; I agree with you! laj2, I did in fact read the article AND other articles on this and stand by my statement despite your attempt to belittle me. I respect your right to an opinion, but singling MY opinion out to say condescending things about is completely unnecessary and shows what a pretentious person you are. Have you volunteered in animal shelters? Do you know what shelter animals go through? Do you know how thin the staff & resources at shelters are stretched? I have volunteered with animals for 10+ years & am certainly as qualified as you – if not more so – to put in my two cents. While I appreciate that the theater group DID make attempts to find the dog a home, if the dog ended up back in the shelter their attempts weren’t good enough. When they chose to use a living animal in their play they should have had a long-term plan in place (i.e. we will mention at every performance that the dog is available for adoption, include it in the program, etc. BUT if he doesn’t have a home by the end then so-and-so will take him). If no one could take responsibility for him then they should not have used him in the first place. I know many situations where dogs are fostered & always find permanent homes but it sometimes takes months of advertising. Someone was able to care for the dog during the play, so why couldn’t they foster him until a permanent home was found? I am glad the dog did find a home, but still feel the theater group did the wrong thing.

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