High School Cross-Country Team Takes Lonely Shelter Dogs on Their Morning Run

Most people have pets, but not all owners are conscientious and take good care of their pets. As a result of that many of them end up in the street and after that in shelters where a large number of them needs to be euthanized. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) more than 1.5 million (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats) are euthanized in the states every year.

Thanks to the existence of shelters some of the animals are being sterilized so that there is no high number of animals on the street, but these shelters lack manpower and because of that every volunteer is welcomed.

Although the dogs are in shelters they need fresh air and the regular walks every day. But, due to the fact that there are not enough employees these dogs cannot be walked every day. Yet, thanks to the incentive of the cross country team at St Joseph High School these dogs got their daily walks. This school joined up with the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter, and every child now has the opportunity to take a dog for his morning run.

Not only that the dog gets all the benefits, but as well as the person who walks it or runs with it thus performing a great cardio exercise. The cross country team from the St. Joseph High School took with them 12 dogs and together did a group run. The community outreach coordinator for Santa Barbara County Animal Services, Stacy Silva, said this was a win-win situation for both sides. The cross country team got their regular workout routine and the shelter dogs their needed outdoor stay. Stacy said there is nothing better like a tired and happy dog.

The idea for such run came from the coach of the cross country team, Luis Escobar, who wanted to find a fun way how his students to earn their volunteer service hours that the school requires.

He reported this event on his Facebook page and stated that he cannot tell who was happier, the dogs or the students. The dogs were so excited when they realized that they will go outside, they ran and barked with such joy and excitement. They simply went bullocks, even the ones that were timid like the small dog known as Fred that never showed any particular enthusiasm for going out. Both the students and dogs had such a great time, and the coach hopes that they will do this again, he plans to gather the team and go for another group dog run. The benefits of this run goes both ways, the children learn the importance of helping others, and the dogs get their freedom.

The life in the shelters is stressful for most animals making them very anxious, therefore the need for fresh air is very high for these poor animals, and there is nothing better to enjoy some fresh air with human friends. This run activity with the humans will make the dogs more sociable and likeable which will make them more noticeable and quickly adoptable.

Dogs that have been in isolation for a long period of time lose the touch of being friendly with humans, and because of that they are rarely adopted.

If you want to be helpful and make the day of these animals you can visit the nearby shelter and do the same as the cross country team. All you need to do is to spare an hour or two a week, and walk these dogs or run and play with them. Cuddling with an animal is something that will do you good!