NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — You've probably heard about athletes getting sponsors. Now, shelter animals can get sponsors too.
The Niagara SPCA is encouraging business owners and corporations to 'Sponsor a Cage.' It's a new program where they can sponsor and pay for an animal's food, medicine and overall care.
The goal is to help cover ever increasing costs and to empty cages at the shelter.
"These animals don't want to be stuck in a cage, and they want a home that is a forever home," said attorney Ross Cellino, who teamed up with the SPCA to get the program started. "Our family has always loved animals and we've had dogs when we were kids."
Cellino himself is sponsoring a nine-year-old dog named Angel.
"Who doesn't want to help an animal in need? And it's such a win-win for both the business owner and the animal," said Kimberly LaRussa, Event Manager for Niagara SPCA.
Marilyn Sinatra is one of the first to take advantage of this new program. She's sponsoring a one-year-old dog named Sarge.
"I'm a firm believer that if you have blessings in this life, you need to give back somehow to your community no matter how big or how small," said Sinatra. "And when I read about this program it was really something that resonated with me and something I knew I wanted to do."
When an animal is adopted, sponsors receive a picture of the pet with its new family.
"I call them good luck charms for these animals because they're advocating for this animal, it feels like they have an extra person to help them get adopted. So that's just been a really nice feeling to see that," said LaRussa.
"We've been very successful so far; a number of animals have been adopted and fortunately for the SPCA too they get a cash infusion every month," said Cellino. "Every cent of the money that comes in through the program goes to the SPCA."
To find out more about the program and how to become a sponsor, click here.