Thanks to volunteers with a Run Club, dogs at the Fulton County Animal Services facility in Atlanta, Georgia, get some much needed time outside. Thousands of dogs are taken in at the facility each year and the Run Club is one several programs at the shelter which help the homeless pets get to enjoy time with people, outside of their kennel runs.
Meera Solomon, one of the Run Club volunteers, had read an article about a similar shelter run club program in another state and it inspired her find an animal shelter to volunteer with locally.
This particular club meets at the animal shelter every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Weather permitting, volunteers head out to a nearby neighborhood to walk and jog with dogs that are waiting for adoption. Solomon told Shelter Me how the program is of benefit to the participating dogs, “This gives the dogs much needed exercise and socialization, a chance to work on leash training, and allows us get to know the dogs as individuals. When we learn about each dog’s behavior and temperament, we share it with the staff and help write bios for adoption profiles.”
If the weather is bad, dogs still get some special, one-on-one attention. Solomon explained, “If there is rain or high temperatures that prevent us from exercising the dogs, we still meet to do some other group activity such as giving medicated baths, cleaning, or socializing dogs onsite.”
According to volunteer coordinator, Julia Maloney, though there aren’t any “hard numbers” to prove that the Run Club program increases adoptions, anecdotal experience shows that it “absolutely” increases a dog’s chance of finding a home. Maloney explained:
“If I was an adopter, walking the kennel with 300 barking dogs, each one giving me sad eyes, I’d be thrilled to know “Duke” loves to walk, has nice leash manners, and could care less about that pesky squirrel.”
There are many ways for area residents to get involved with the homeless animals at this shelter…from the aforementioned Run Club, to the adventurous “Tails on the Trail,” or a super short fostering opportunity involving the shelter’s Sleepover Program. Learn more about the various volunteer opportunities at the Fulton County Animal Services shelter at this link.
Interested in joining the shelter’s volunteer team? Contact email@example.com for more information.
In related news: Learn about a California high school cross country team’s efforts to help shelter pets at this link.
(Images via Pixabay and Fulton County Animal Services)
Do you know of a special animal shelter program that deserves attention? Or of an above and beyond shelter volunteer? Please send an email to Eims1@live.com for story idea consideration.