Are you addicted to running, or just need some extra motivation to prepare for that upcoming military fitness test, keep up with the kids, or just to stay fit? Do you have a passion for helping animals?
Like many groups around the country, The Hawaiian Humane Society is starting a program for running with shelter dogs. Volunteers run with selected high energy shelter dogs from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. any day of the week. There are several reasons why a program like this is beneficial for these animals:
- Regular, vigorous exercise. Although the dogs are taken for a walk around the facility’s courtyard at least twice a day, it may not be enough for some of those more high energy dogs who don’t have room to run around in their kennels. This extra exercise will help the dogs become physically and psychologically healthier.
- Reduce stress. Living in a kennel surrounded by other barking dogs and no family to love is a high-stress environment. Imagine how much better you feel after a good run!
- Increase chances of adoption. A tired dog is a happy dog! Many shelter dogs may experience what is called “kennel craziness.” They either become so bored that they jump off the walls when they see a human, or they become depressed. Either way, potential adopters may be turned off by their behavior despite the fact that the animal’s true personality is not shining through.
- Dogs learn to trust humans again. Some dogs may be strays, have a history of abuse, or have abandonment issues. Running with shelter dogs helps these animals rediscover that a human is fun to hang out with, and makes the transition easier when they do find their forever home.
Not only does it benefit the dogs, but it can also benefit you! This may make running more fun or meaningful for you, or if you aren’t allowed to have your own pet because you live in the dorms or in an apartment off base, you can get your dog fix with The Hawaiian Humane Society.
I am organizing a group to participate in this program. If you are interested, please contact me at email@example.com. Everyone will be required to attend a Volunteer Orientation in order to participate, but if we have enough interest they have agreed to schedule an orientation just for us.
Of course, if this one aspect doesn’t interest you, there are many other ways to get involved with The Hawaiian Humane Society. Check out the opportunities here and feel free to let me know if you have any questions!
Michelle Lidh is an enlisted weather forecaster for the United States Air Force. She lives on Oahu and is an active volunteer for The Hawaiian Humane Society.