Make a difference in an animal’s life and get healthy this spring. The People and Animal Cardio Klub (PACK) is a group of volunteers who meet at local parks to run with adoptable Washington Humane Society (WHS) dogs. PACK provides additional outdoor recreation for adoptable dogs while they wait for their forever homes.
PACK volunteer runner Mary Lindsey has seen firsthand how PACK can help dogs like Kermit become more social -
Kermit is a really great example of what PACK can be
good for. When I first started transporting Kermit to PACK in January, he was
scared of his own shadow. He was scared to get in the car. If we weren't
moving, he stood around shaking, and his tail stayed tucked between his legs
almost the whole time. But after a couple trips to PACK, he started loosening
up and enjoying himself. He started hopping in the car like a pro and would sit
casually waiting for PACK to start. He
ran with his tail up and wagging. Based on how he was improving at PACK, I
would have never guessed he was having a hard time in the adoption center.
Kermit likes to jog. I think he was so overwhelmed at his first couple of times at PACK that he got labeled a “walker,” but I've taken him out to run in the Arboretum four times now, and he handled the three mile run just fine.
PACK helps the WHS Behavior and Training team get to know each dog's personality better. Alison Coates, WHS Behavior and Training Counselor talks about PACK -
PACK provides us valuable information about the dogs at our adoption centers, as well as gives the dogs an energy outlet and mental stimulation. We get to see how the dogs respond to things they don't normally see or hear in the adoption center, such as bikes, sirens, flying kites, and squirrels. This information allows us to give an adopter a picture of what everyday life will be like with this dog. After the run, everybody enjoys a training and snuggle session, where the dogs and volunteers work on behaviors like “sit” and “stay.” Then everyone sits on the ground, while the dogs climb into their laps and lick their faces. PACK is so rewarding for both dogs and volunteers alike.
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