“Hot Dog Day” on the Ithaca Commons this Friday features a benefit hot dog sale for the SPCA of Tompkins County. Lou Cassaniti, whose seasonal hot dog stand moved indoors two years ago, donates 100% of proceeds to the SPCA one day a year.
This time, Lou is setting up for Hot Dog Day this Friday, May 12th, on the west end of the Commons near the new William Jane Dispensary, who’s sponsoring Hot Dog Day for 2023.
The SPCA says Hot Dog Day dates back twenty years, with Lou Cassaniti’s hot dog stand grilling up hot dogs and vegetarian “not dogs,” typically raising over $3,000 each year on a Friday in early May. “Hot dogs, sausages, and veggie dogs on Lou’s grill are a sign that summer is indeed upon us.” says SPCA executive director Jim Bouderau.
For most of Hot Dog Day’s history, pets weren’t allowed on the Commons, but just over two years ago, Common Council approved a measure by a 9-1 vote that removed the prohibition on dogs on the “primary” portion of the Ithaca Commons as designated in City code.
Bouderau says Hot Dog Day this year coincides with a current fundraising challenge, by which SPCA “matchmakers” have offered to match every dollar raised by May 31st, up to $50,000.
Anyone who’d like to donate to the SPCA can make a secure online gift at spcaonline.com by clicking the “Make a Donation” link, can mail a check to the SPCA at 1640 Hanshaw Road, Ithaca, New York 14850, or call 607-257-1822. The SPCA also has an Amazon wish list of items they need.