Firefighters Decide To Bring 6 Excited Shelter Dogs For Team’s Daily Run And Have A Blast
Animal shelters face a challenge each and every day. They need to ensure that all of their pets receive care and attention, but they also must do this with limited staff. Even when a shelter has volunteers helping out, time constraints often mean that dogs can’t go on the long walks or runs that they’d like to. But six firefighters changed all that for some lucky shelter dogs.
The firefighters from the Arlington County Fire Department in Arlington, Virginia work out daily in order to stay in shape for their jobs. Firefighter and paramedic Taylor Blunt came up with the idea of taking shelter dogs with them while trying to come up with a way for the team to do some community service.
So, Blunt reached out to Chelsea Lindsey, communications specialist at Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA) about the idea. Lindsey thought the idea was a great one and encouraged Blunt to bring the firefighters over to the shelter.
At first, Lindsey thought the six firefighters would probably take out one or two dogs, but it turned out that the shelter had six dogs that got along really well. So, each of the firefighters was paired with a dog for the outing. All different breeds were represented in the group, including a Chihuahua, husky, pit bull, Chihuahua mix, Papillon, and Staffordshire terrier.
The firefighters headed to the park and took the dogs out for about an hour. They walked and let the dogs sniff around, and took them running on sprints. By the end of the outing, the dogs were so tired that they laid down on the grass.
Though it was great for the dogs to get out of the shelter, the firefighters benefited from the outing, too. Blunt can’t have a dog right now, but explained that it was rewarding to do something nice for shelter pets in need.
Lindsey agreed that the walk was a great opportunity for both the firefighters and the dogs. The firefighters got exercise, and the dogs got the chance to get out of the shelter for a bit. Lindsey explained that by getting the dogs out and about, people start to see them as individual dogs, rather than as “shelter dogs.”
This isn’t the first time that fire departments and law enforcement have partnered up with local shelters; it’s part of a growing trend. The Coast Guard has started to foster dogs in its New Orleans station.
And, this isn’t the last that Blunt and the firefighters will see of the dogs. They hope to set up regular volunteer sessions so that they can help get more pets out of the shelter for a bit.
Blunt explained that the shelter loves that the dogs have a chance to get outside and get some exercise. Being out and about makes the dogs happier, and hopefully it means that they can get adopted more quickly, too.
(H/T The Dodo)