Dogs are lovable creatures and they are known to be man’s best friend for a reason. Loyal and friendly, they make great additions to any home. However, not every dog is lucky to be part of a beautiful and loving family. Many canines are rescued and placed in shelters where they may not receive all the love and affection they need. As with all social animals, including man, we need company and a source of love and care which keeps us in check and our positive attitudes on the forefront.
When we live isolated and alone in small enclosures, like how shelter dogs do, we can also be adversely affected. That is why when Kelly Stewart, the founder of the non profit group Tails of a Trail, heard about shelters offering dogs for hikes, he got involved. Already leading the Nashville Hiking Club, he felt that organizing such special hikes would get more people involved and also benefit the animal shelters.
If dogs are always kept confined, then they may have to be euthanized down the line as they would have no concept of acceptable social behavior and may end up being more harmful than not. These walks helps expose the dogs to more people, and due to the publicity of the events as well as share pictures on social media, the adoption rates of these dogs goes up dramatically due to the ‘Adopt Me’ badges that the dogs wear, giving them renewed hope for a better loved life with a family of their own.
As of now, Tails of the Trail collaborates with around six shelters and hold around six hikes on a monthly basis with most of the hike being in close proximity to the shelter and rescue groups. More than 1800 hikers have been part of these special hikes and the thousand dog hiking mark was crossed recently. The dogs and pups that are part of this initiative get exercise a chance to get social and also get a break from the confines of a stressful shelter environment.
I loved watching the video and learning about this initiative. In fact, affiliates are encouraged to begin in different parts of the country. Is this something you would be interested in? Do you think this is a good idea? Write in and let us know your thoughts in comments section!