If you want to get more involved in helping rescue dogs, but you don’t want to spend a lot of time at the shelter or foster a dog overnight, dog day outs are a perfect way to make a huge difference with a little effort.
Staff and volunteers pour their hearts and souls the dogs at Animal Services, but there are simply too many shelter dogs for them all to get as much exercise and engagement as they need. Sometimes exercising at the shelter isn’t enough. These dogs need a chance to get out, exercise, and decompress in another environment, if only for a few hours.
Without enough exercise and constantly exposed to the noise and stress of the shelter, dogs become anxious and traumatized, leading to behavioral problems that keep dogs from being adopted and sends them towards euthanasia.
Potential adopters never get to meet the real dog. Instead, they see a hyped-up version that often won’t engage.
Taking shelter dogs on outings serves two essential purposes:
- The dog gets exercise, stimulus, and training so that they can behave calmly in the shelter and attract potential adopters
- People get a chance to meet the dog outside of the shelter environment, where the dog shows its real, and better, personality
Seatbelts, harnesses, collars, leashes, and anything else that you might need are all provided by Alachua County Animal Services. If your local shelter doesn’t have what you need, consider holding a fundraiser to get the best harnesses and collars for shelter dogs.
Volunteers and staff can help you pick the perfect dog for your outing, or you can pick a dog that you feel comfortable with from the kennels. There are also group outings periodically, which are a great way to get started. See if your local shelter is holding a group walk or outing that you can participate in, or call your local shelter to see if you can arrange a dog day out.