“This was just a small, tiny, organic, nice gesture of kindness and it’s resonated with people all across the country. Anybody can do it. It doesn’t have to a be big thing; it can just be walking a dog.”
Luis Escobar, coach at Californian high school St. Joseph’s one day surprised his runners with a bunch of four-leggers super keen to join them on their run – pooches normally cooped up in the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter.
Fun was had by all, regardless of leg number. Luis made this little video.
As you can see, all relished being out in the big wide world, though one was a bit of a tortoise. And Fred – well Fred preferred to travel in style (reminds me of my own rescue canine!) It proved for him a tactic with a payoff, because he scored himself a nice new home – runner and ‘Fred-carrier’ Josh Menusa and his family ended up adopting him.
As if this little story is not wonderful enough, after Luis posted his video on Facebook, his simple but genius idea caught fire and spread all over the country. And why wouldn’t it? Runners love to run, and so do pups – a match made in heaven.
Find out more here
Now for genius off-the-wall idea no.2 – books
A good run-out, yes that makes sense, but books? For dogs? Seems the mutts are particularly partial to a good animal yarn. But if you’re letting your imagination run wild with visions of ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles”, “Lassie”, and “101 Dalmations” lining the walls in dog pens, let me bring you gently back down to earth. Dogs are clever but not that clever. Or maybe they are, because they let us do the work for them and in some choice shelters they have a child human read to them. Why keep a dog and bark yourself, is what they say.
The kids sit on the floor in front of the pens so it’s the dog’s choice how much he/she wants to interact. It’s a quiet gentle activity that seems to have a calming effect on stressed animals.
“It helps shy and fearful dogs overcome their insecurities and increase their chances of being adopted.”
This little guy is rapt!
Pic Humane Society of Missouri/Facebook
And everyone’s a winner:
- The kids aren’t frightened of making a mistake reading to animals as they would be with people. It increases their confidence – animals are so nonjudgmental
- A study at the University of California found that children who participated in a 10-week reading program at a shelter saw a 12 percent improvement in their reading
- It is the perfect way to teach children the importance of compassion, and the need to adopt not shop
- It helps create positive ties between a shelter and the community it’s in
Why not find out if your local shelter has such a scheme, and if not, suggest they might like to start one.
Plenty more lush ideas of how you can show your love for shelter animals here
Our third genius idea really is genius! Where do folk rustle up these amazing ideas? I wish I knew. Here you go – optical illusions
Under the slogan, “There’s always room for more. Adopt”, World for All in Mumbai, India commissioned these marvels that speak better than words because they speak to the heart.
All 3 amazing pics by Amal Jadhav for World for All’s adoption event
What family could resist finding a place in their lives for a needy animal after seeing these? The pics’ impact was huge. Attendance at the adoption event was up 150 percent from the previous year, and saw 42 adoptions. The plan is to repeat the event yearly after such phenomenal success.
Thanks to the Dodo for that uplifting story
So there we have it – three stories of fun ways to help get animals out of shelters and into loving homes. When you decide to get a dog or a cat to make your home complete, ‘paws’ for thought, and ADOPT, DON’T SHOP.
Just look at these sad statistics:
- The Daily Mail reported that the number of stray or abandoned dogs in the UK reached 110,000 in 2013, and that 21 are put down every single day.
- The RSPCA rescued and collected 118,994 animals of all kinds in 2015 in the UK, and were only able to rehome 47,651 of those.
- The ASPCA tells us that in the USA approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
- And that each year, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized (1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats)
And they are not just numbers. Each individual one an aching heart just crying out for a loving home. #AdoptDontShop Helping Abused or Abandoned Animals
To end on a brighter note, a bit of doggy fun for dog slaves everywhere.
The Amazing Abilities of Dogs – Take the Quiz here