Running Buddies Enrichment Program provides additional incentives for joggers to exercise by pairing them up with a dog that’s waiting to be adopted. The program is connected with the Stray Rescue of St. Louis and invites volunteers to include shelter dogs in their exercise routine.
Jason Schipkowski, Director or Marketing and Development at Stray Rescue, commented that:
Some people who come into Stray Rescue to adopt will say that they’re uninterested in a dog because it may have high energy. After the Running Buddies program, those high energy dogs are relieved of pent up stress and become more adoptable. We assess dogs like people. They have individual needs, so we take the time to learn about each one’s specific behaviors, and we tailor enrichment programs for the dogs with special activities, toys, and anything that engages them mentally or physically.
The volunteers are able to make a healthy impact on themselves and also the dog. Schipkowski explains the case of one of the dogs named Sasha who suffered from anxiety, which made it harder for the dog to be adopted. However, after a volunteer was paired with Sasha and took her out for a run three times a week, the dog became less anxious and now has three potential owners who are interested in adopting her.