Adoptions can be previewed online and matches made by scheduled appointments

Amid the “PAUSE” declared for New York State by Governor Cuomo, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and the Cuse Pit Crew have partnered to promote canines ready for adoption. The City of Syracuse dog shelter has close to two dozen dogs available for adoption that can become a welcome addition to families and individuals who are spending more time at home as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“The current circumstances make it an ideal time for the adoption of a stray dog,” said Mayor Walsh. “Being at home to reduce density at workplaces makes it a lot easier to welcome a dog to a family and help it get accustomed to its new environment. And with spring upon us, it’s even easier to get new pets outside for exercise and fresh air.”

In an effort to increase awareness of the need for adoptions and the availability of dogs, Mayor Walsh joined a Facebook Live event at B&R Bunkhouse Adoptables, the City’s contracted shelter, featuring special friends with paws. Mayor Walsh met Kennedy, a boxer pit bull mix who is just one of many dogs to be highlighted on for the next two weeks. “Kennedy is a great dog. For her, and dogs like her, a loving home is all that is missing,” said Mayor Walsh.

According to Stefanie Heath, president of the Cuse Pit Crew, the average time for a dog to get acclimated to new surroundings is three weeks to three months. “This time can be used to discover a fun routine, practice basic obedience, and, most importantly, get in lots of doggy snuggles,” said Heath.

Even as COVID-19 changes how people interact on a regular basis, dogs are still being adopted. There are also dogs who continue to be abandoned. The community has remained supportive, as many of the volunteers remain committed to walking dogs.

To view dogs up for adoption, visit the City of Syracuse Department of Parks, Recreation and Youth Programs Facebook page, the  B&R Bunkhouse Adoptables Facebook page, or find doggy profiles on Petfinder. To begin the adoption process, residents can email to receive an application. After the application is processed, an in-person meeting can be arranged to meet adoption candidates.

For veterans, seniors, or individuals with disabilities who are dog owners and have trouble feeding their dog(s), the Kia Foundation, Inc. provides food delivery services through its pet care needs assistance program. Hardeko Helping Paws Pantry is another resource for food and other necessities for pets. To report instances of animal abuse, contact the Syracuse Police Department Animal Cruelty Investigations at (315) 442-5336 or email

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