The Humane Rescue Alliance's new Happy Hour foster program launched in February, and it allows volunteers to take dogs out of the group's two shelters for a couple of hours at a time. This short time period is being tested so folks can take the dogs out for a few hours instead of requiring fosters to care for them in their homes for days or months which can be difficult.
We all know that even short outings can make a difference. When I walked dogs for Oregon Humane Society that sweet pup was always a tired and much happier dog after our walk (even if it was short).
The Washingtonian reported that trained volunteers are finding this makes a big difference.
"Event planner, Peggy Cusack is at the other end of Popeye's leash. The 49-year-old has volunteered at the Humane Rescue Alliance for about two years. She took Popeye out for the first time a couple of weeks ago for a day of napping, new toys, and a McDonald's cheeseburger. Even though it was just for a few hours, she says the difference was visible."
This Washington D.C. rescue group is participating in a national study.
"The Humane Rescue Alliance—the largest rescue group in Washington—started the program to provide research for a study at Arizona State University funded by another animal-welfare organization, Maddie's Fund. The goal is to evaluate how getting out of shelters, even for brief periods, affects dogs. The Rescue Alliance was the first shelter to implement the program. Now the participants number 100 shelters nationwide."
Since the program began in February, Humane Rescue Alliance officials said that there have been more than 100 happy hour trips among 84 dog participants. Think of all the stress reduced in these sweet rescue dogs and how much better they'll present themselves when they're meeting potential adopters.
So take a dog out on a day trip even if your local shelter isn't participating in this program. You know their stress will be reduced even after a few hours! Shelters are a stressful place to live so consider a few hours or ask about happy hour! This is a manageable way to foster for folks that cannot have one for months at a time.
Don't you love this program? Please let us know in the comments.
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