In an attempt to make dogs more likely to be adopted, volunteers at the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter, or ICAS, has created a dog walking club, where volunteers take dogs for walks on Wednesday nights.
Director of ICAS Jamie Lampman said the dog walking club volunteers helps improve the dogs interactions with people, in a bid to find them loving homes in the future.
“Probably 40 percent of animals that come here suffer some sort of neglect or cruelty to some degree,” Lampman said. “Fortunately they rebound very quickly, and this is part of the dog walking club- to help these dogs rebound and get in touch in humans again.”
The program, which has around 20 volunteers, helps provide the much needed exercise and human interaction for the dogs.
“The (volunteers) write down things that they learned about the animal to help understand the animals so that we can find a placement for them that is more appropriate for them,” she said.
The club has volunteers come each Wednesday night and sometimes on Saturday evenings when it’s warm out.
Okemos resident and volunteer Barb Paul, who normally helps exercise dogs at the shelter said being active, such as walks, gives the dogs an opportunity to release stress.
“It helps decrease the stress level and possibly makes them more adoptable,” Paul said. “As as volunteer you can see some of their traits and habits and you can relay that to the staff and it helps with prospective adopters to find a dog that might be suitable to their family.”
East Lansing resident and volunteer Bryce Myatt said the program is now more successful since it started, approximately two and a half years ago.
“The more walkers we have that means more dogs can get out. At this point it is very successful,” Myatt said. “Last year we had a couple of sorority and fraternities coming out too. Its pretty broad range of people that come out.”