An open-admission animal shelter in Michigan has come up with a creative way to keep the homeless dogs in their care happy and healthy. According to ABC 12 News, dogs cooped up in the facility’s kennel runs get just 20 minutes of exercise each day, and when the weather is bad, sometimes even that time can be cut short. In an effort to keep the dogs’ morale up, even when it’s cold outside, the Saginaw County Animal Care Center decided that a treadmill for the shelter was in order.
On January 1, the shelter reached out to its Facebook followers with their special request:
We are looking for someone to donate a working treadmill. This treadmill doesn’t need to incline. Just a basic treadmill. These dogs at the shelter are high energy and they need another outlet to exercise. If you can help please message us.
It didn’t take long for the request to be fulfilled – the shelter wrote:
Update: We are in contact with someone who has offered their treadmill. We never dreamed of two, but it looks like we are going to make a workout room for dogs. Thank you so much. If anything falls through we will update.
Shelter director, Lisa Stoffel, explained to ABC 12 News what motivated her to get the dogs their own exercise equipment, “Every day I walk in there I think, ‘What can we do to make their lives a little easier?’ It’s hard enough being in a shelter.”
There has been a bit of a learning curve for the dogs, but with treats and some gentle coaxing, they are not only getting the hang of it, but enjoying treadmill time as well. Stoffel explained, “After first couple of weeks then they’re like, ‘Oh wait, this is a lot of fun’. There’s that click in. If you saw with Jingles, she started getting her gait down and her pace, that’s when you know they’re starting to become more comfortable.”
Happy dogs (who are happier because they get to burn off some energy) are easier to adopt to new owners, making this creative idea a definite win for this forward-thinking animal shelter.
Find the adoptable dogs at this animal shelter here.
Facebook page for the Saginaw County Animal Care Center here.
(Photos via Saginaw County Animal Care Center Facebook page and screenshots via ABC 12 News)