There are good ideas, and then there are ideas so great you can't believe no one ever thought of them before. The Running Buddies Enrichment Program belongs to the latter group. Launched by Stray Rescue of St. Louis, an animal shelter, the program pairs joggers with a dog that’s waiting to be adopted. The idea is to promote good mental and physical health for pooches and people alike.
"Some people who come into Stray Rescue to adopt will say that they’re uninterested in a dog because it may have high energy," says Stray Rescue's Jason Schipkowski. "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."
For proof of the impact that Running Buddies has on rescue dogs, Schipkowski explains the case of Sasha, a dog who suffered from anxiety, making it difficult to find an adoptive home for her. After a volunteer was paired with Sasha and took her out for a run three times a week, the dog's anxiety subsided and she now has three potential owners interested in adopting her. There you go.