Welcome to Part Two of our How to Borrow a Dog Series. In case you missed our first installment, check out it out here: Become a Pet Sitter. In Part Two, we are going to discuss an easy way to borrow a dog for the day: Walking a shelter dog which is more affectionately known as a shelter field trip.
Many shelters will let you take a dog or two out of the shelter for a few hours or even the whole day. Take them to the park or the mountains. Let them come over to your house and curl up for a movie (if you live in a pet-friendly place). Shelter dogs spend a lot of time caged up, hoping for someone to come adopt them. Getting them out of the shelter provides a great benefit to everyone involved. You get the joy of being with a dog. The shelter staff gets much needed help with caring for the dog for the day. The dog gets a day full of happiness and freedom.
Perhaps the best side benefit is the dog gets exposure to other adopters. In exchange for taking the dog out, you should advertise for that pup. If somebody stops you at the park or the trail to comment on how great the dog is, make sure you take the time to explain the dog is looking for a home and you just have them for the day. Share the dog on social media and let the world know. Shelter dogs are usually seen inside cages but you will be presenting the dog in a natural, happy setting. This can work wonders for the dog’s chance of being adopted.
How do I Find a Shelter Dog?
Contact your local shelter. Many shelters are catching on to this trend and are more than happy to lend a dog for the day. You will be expected to fill out some sort of paperwork and provide identification. All shelters are different but at a minimum you should expect the following requirements:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Provide proper identification
- Sign liability waivers
- Put down a credit card or deposit
Isn’t there, like, an app for that?
No, sorry, there isn’t… WAIT! There will be soon and you can help make it happen! Charlie and Cristina Saunders, co-founders of walkzee, are creating the first online platform connecting shelter dogs to dog lovers for walks! Charlie says, “We started walkzee after taking part in an amazing shelter dog field trip program in Hawaii, where locals and visitors are encouraged to visit and take shelter dogs out for the day. We took Big Z (the Zee in walkzee) out for the day and saw first hand what an incredible initiative it was – benefiting the dog, the shelter and the walkers!”
UPDATE: walkzee hit and exceeded their Kickstarter target! Keep an eye out for updates to their app in the coming months.
What if my local shelters don’t do this?
It never hurts to call and ask. If they say they don’t do it, offer to leave a credit card, sign any waivers, and provide identification. Tell them why you want to take the dog out. Most shelter personnel are looking out for the best interest of the dog and might agree with the right argument.
So, that’s it! No dog, no problem. Call your local shelters today and see if you can snag a dog for the weekend.
Disclaimer: CityLeash has no direct affiliation, financial or otherwise, with walkzee. We just think it is a great idea.
Stay tuned for part 3 of our “How to Borrow a Dog” series: