Guest Post

Shelter dogs are lonely, so school team decides to include them

October 2nd, 2019

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video.

When dogs stay in shelters, they often feel lonely and claustrophobic. It’s a sad predicament. Luckily, one school team found an original way to make them happy.

Most dogs love to exercise. They’re energetic creatures, and they have to work off that energy somehow. But when they’re confined to a shelter, they don’t always get the work out that they need.

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Flickr Source: Flickr

Shelter volunteers work hard, but they can’t always walk every single dog. Instead, the animals have to wait their turn.

But the dogs that are waiting for new owners at Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter don’t need to worry about getting enough exercise.

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Santa Barbara County Animal Services/Facebook Source: Santa Barbara County Animal Services/Facebook

That’s because the St. Joseph High School’s cross country team has incorporated the dogs into their activities.

When the team members meet up for their morning runs, they first stop off at the dog shelter and pick up all of the dogs. Then, when they all meet for the start of their run, they bring the dogs with them.

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St Joseph Athletics/Facebook Source: St Joseph Athletics/Facebook

The dogs all must think that they’re part of some mighty pack, tearing across the land, proving that they are indeed a force to be reckoned with.

They cover miles of land, and one thing is for sure: everyone is exhausted at the end, whether you have four legs or two.

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St Joseph Athletics/Facebook Source: St Joseph Athletics/Facebook

In fact, the coach, Luis Escobar, has said that he can’t tell whether the dogs or the kids have more fun. Including the dogs in the runs was Escobar’s idea, and what a great idea it was!

The school’s athletics Facebook page posted a video of the cross country team running with the dogs.

They all appear to be having a great time, except for one little guy at the end, who clearly has less energy than the other dogs. Still, he’s getting good care from the runner.

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St. Joseph Athletics/Facebook Source: St. Joseph Athletics/Facebook

This post has gone viral, gaining over 500,000 views, 1,800 likes and 2,900 shares to date. It has also gained over 200 comments.

People have been saying things like this:

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St Joseph Athletics/Facebook Source: St Joseph Athletics/Facebook

Not everyone is athletic enough to take shelter dogs out on regular cross country runs, but most people can do something for these animals. Shelter dogs all over America are desperately lonely and would love for a human to take them on a nice walk, even if it is at a slow pace!

After watching this video, could anyone disagree with the idea of integrating shelter dogs into more school and college athletic events?

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Flickr Source: Flickr

It’s a win, win, as the dogs get their much-needed exercise, and dog-loving students get to meet a new four-legged friend.

And of course, activities like this could help with getting the dogs adopted. Some of the people who exercise with the dogs may end up falling in love with them. Or they could encounter a future owner in the form of a spectator.

There is evidence that when shelter dogs get more exercise, they have better luck in finding forever homes.

For instance, Animal Wellness Magazine notes that Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society in Michigan saw radical changes in adoption patterns after they implemented an exercise regime.

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U.S. Air Forces Central Command Source: U.S. Air Forces Central Command

Before 2012, this shelter rarely took their dogs out for walks. But that year, it began a dog-walking program where volunteers took dogs on 20-minute walks. This led to the dogs becoming healthier and much more social with humans, making them get adopted faster.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Got a pretty cool cross country team (& coach!). Taking dogs from the animal shelter on a Morning Jog! If you see a dog you like, go adopt!

Posted by St. Joseph Athletics on Thursday, August 4, 2016

Source: St Joseph Athletics

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