If you’d love to be involved in the care of shelter dogs but aren’t able to adopt or volunteer as a staff member, shelter dog running may be perfect for you. There aren’t many of us who wouldn’t benefit from a little extra exercise, and dogs are no exception. The problem is that many shelter dogs don’t get the exercise they need – and that’s where you come in!
Studies have shown that shelter dogs that get exercise and interaction with people on a regular basis tend to be calmer when prospective adopters come to see them, which may make them more likely to be taken home.
There are a number of programs across the US that encourage runners to take shelter dogs for a run. Whether you’re a keen runner or just want to get outside more, shelters are looking for volunteers to pair with some of their well behaved dogs. The runs are usually group based, at least to start with, so you’ll be teamed up with other volunteers and at least one shelter staff member to make sure everything goes smoothly. Even if you don’t live in the US, it’s worth approaching your local shelter to see if you can borrow a running buddy. One Australian runner did just that, and loves running with her shelter dog.