This High School Track Team Volunteers to Take Shelter Dogs for Runs, and Everybody Loves It

By  | 

A kind-hearted pack of teenage boys has volunteered to take some local shelter dogs out for runs when they practice, and the puppies are absolutely thrilled.

Running with shelter dogs.

According to Today, the Steinbrenner High School boys’ track team in Tampa, Florida, has been taking the shelter dogs for the kind of exercise shelter dogs don’t often get. Lots of dogs love to run, and for certain dogs it’s very good for them. These dogs love the opportunity to go for a nice, long run, but even the most dedicated of shelter employees can’t possibly take all the dogs out to run a couple miles in the park.

The track kids would be running anyway, and this way they get to have some fun training, and also exercise some nice doggos.

According to coach Bob Ennis, one of the mothers came up with the idea after hearing about some California track runners doing that. Ennis and the kids thought it was a great idea, so they partnered with the Humane Society to run with the dogs.

The runners all got a class from the Humane Society about what to do. Now when they do their workout, they take a couple friendly doggums with them.

The dogs are adoring it.

Not only do they get exercise, they also get to go out to the park and run around, and they get to meet other people and dogs. They get to relax and socialize. Playing helps them feel less stressed at the shelter.

The shelter, of course, hopes people will meet the dogs while running and want to adopt them.

Naturally, you can’t give a bunch of teenage boys puppies and then have them not want to keep them. Two Steinbrenner grads and former track team captains had been running with the group for the summer to keep in shape, and they decided they couldn’t leave their favorite dog behind. Now they’ve adopted him and will be taking him to college with them.

The coach is also a dog person. He already has three dogs, but if this summer ends without him picking up a fourth, I’ll be shocked.

The dog-running program won’t go on during the school year. Maybe in-season training and practices aren’t conducive to running with dogs. But they’ll do it again next summer, and they’re hoping to get other track teams to join in.

I predict a rapid upswing in the number of kids joining the track team. All sports would be more attractive with puppies involved!

(Image: Twitter / Boss Cross)