A Florida high school cross-country team has taken to running with shelter pups to help promote their adoptability to their local community.
George Steinbrenner High School’s Boss Cross long-distance running team has been taking dogs rescued by the Humane Society of Tampa Bay on runs for the last six years.
Their head coach Allison Szponar said that one of the boys’ mothers saw that the Humane Society was looking for volunteers, and the coaching staff decided to partner with the shelter by taking the pups out for daily runs during breaks from school.
The benefit of the experience is two-fold for the dogs; they get to go on a fun excursion outside of the shelter and are introduced to the community they run in.
Several of the boys’ families and neighbors have adopted the dogs after repeatedly noticing the pups out and about around town.
“The team understands the importance to the dogs but also to the community at large. Their families or neighbors might adopt any of these dogs,” a manager at Humane Society of Tampa Bay remarked.
According to their coach the volunteer opportunity aligns with the team motto, “Gentleman. Scholar. Athlete.”
“It’s a really cool brand we have, and it goes along with what our team is about,” Szponar said.
“I truly believe that these kids having this responsibility and having to care for others directly impacts our team and our success.”
In Detroit, Michigan, a heartbroken German shepherd was spotted wandering around a neighborhood with a stuffed toy, after her elderly owner passed away.
Local residents saw the dog, desperately searching for her deceased owner, while carrying the toy around like a security blanket.
South Lyon Murphy Lost Animal Recovery was dispatched to capture the senior pup, and after a few attempts that she deftly evaded, they brought her to a local animal shelter.
Both the dog, who they dubbed Nikki, and her stuffed toy were in bad shape upon intake, but the shelter was able to get them back up to snuff.
Nikki required hydration, rest, and medication, while the stuff toy was in desperate need of a good wash and some stitching.
The dog was reunited with her stuffed animal hours later, but was so weak and exhausted, she would “just sleep on it,” according to shelter staff.
Since her rescue, Nikki has gone into foster care with a “wonderful” family, as she continues medical treatment and waits to find a forever family.
Another rescue dog, based out of Amsterdam, Netherlands, was adopted by a new family, but spent her initial days cowering in her owner’s bed and refusing to venture out.
In a heartwarming video, Effie the rescue puppy has become a new dog in the month she’s been in her forever home.
In the TikTok post, which has been viewed over 178,000 times, Effie can be seen digging holes in a field, romping around a trail, getting belly rubs, and cuddling up to her owners.