For Immediate Release
March 28, 2016
Contact: Tony Rankin
City Launches New Volunteer Dog Walking Opportunity: Hounds Around Town
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Spring is officially here and Fayetteville Animal Services is encouraging citizens to get out and enjoy our town with a furry friend! The City’s Animal Services division is launching a new opportunity, Hounds Around Town, as part of the existing volunteer dog walking program. “We have heard of other places that allow volunteers to check out dogs for the day or even just a few hours and we thought it would be a great way to help our adoptable dogs improve social skills and reduce kennel stress,” said programs manager, Tony Rankin. Kennel stress, in particular, is a concern with shelter dogs. Although dogs are walked at least twice per day and engage in play groups in the afternoons, a shelter can be hard on a dog’s mental health. “Kennel stress can have a big effect on certain dogs. It can make them less adoptable because when people walk by their kennel, the dog jumps around and barks – that turns off some potential adopters. We find that dogs show best when they are outside of their kennel,” Rankin explained.
In order to participate in the Hounds Around Town program, you must be at least 18 years old and attend new volunteer orientation and a separate dog walking training session. New volunteer orientation is held every other Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Lib Horn Animal Shelter of Fayetteville, located at 1640 South Armstrong Avenue. The separate dog walking training session is held at various times throughout the week; each session takes on average 45 minutes. All dogs that are eligible for the program will be already spayed/neutered, up-to-date on all vaccines, and microchipped.
“Our main goals with this program are to engage our community, reduce kennel stress, and promote the adoption of our shelter dogs,” said Rankin. The program officially launches on Friday, April 1, but it has been piloted over the last few weeks with good success thus far.