Not only the US, but the entire world faces a huge problem with animal overpopulation. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reports that over 1.5 million (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats) are euthanized annually in the US.
The situation is a bit alleviates due to adopting shelter animals and sterilization, but the issue remains, so volunteers are in high demand in shelters all across the country.
Taking care of a dog is a very time-consuming task, so people in shelters cannot provide these puppies all the love and conditions they need. Time spent outside is invaluable for dogs, so dog owners know that it is their favorite time of the day.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful for shelter dogs to enjoy even a quick jaunt outside?
Well, the cross country team at St Joseph High School joined up with the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter, so that the kids each take a dog with them out on their morning run.
These activities are beneficial for anyone involved, and the morning run is a great cardio exercise that fosters the team spirit on both the human and canine side of things.
Students from the St. Joseph High School cross country team picked up around 12 dogs and took them for a group run, and the community outreach coordinator for Santa Barbara County Animal Services, Stacy Silva, added that it was a win-win for both the cross country team and shelter dogs. She adds that tired dogs equal happy dogs.
Coach Luis Escobar told reporters that he got the idea when he was thinking of a fun way that the teens could earn their volunteer service hours that the school requires.
He wrote on his Facebook page that he was not sure who was more excited and having the most fun, the students or the dogs. He added that the dogs were so excited to get out and to be outside, so they all had a great time, they were barking and running and just going nuts.
All the dogs were very enthusiastic, even a small dog named Fred that wasn’t so keen on all the exercise.
Living in a shelter can cause stress and anxiety on animals, so they benefit a lot from some fresh air and exercise while spending time with human friends. Therefore, Escobar reported that he is hoping to get the full team together for another group dog run again, as, in this way, kids also learn the importance of helping others.
Our four-legged friends would greatly appreciate the time one uses to play with them and run around. Despite making them happier, the time we spend with these dogs makes them more social and likable, so they will get noticed faster.
Isolated dogs lose the skill or never gain it, so they are rarely adopted.
You do not need to be on the cross country team to volunteer at the local shelter, so if you have an extra hour or two a week, consider visiting it, and offering those adorable dogs there some time to cuddle, walk, run, and play with you.