How to put a smile on a shelter dog’s face
Well, life is crazy right now. Between moving, selling, fostering, and working, it’s been nuts. The good news is that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. We officially move this week and I cannot wait to be settled in and sitting by the fire on these chilly days.
Speaking of chilly… last week it dropped down to 7 degrees. Woof. Of course, it was the day we had scheduled a photoshoot with some Chicago Animal Care & Control dogs that were out on a field trip. You see, we recently launched the Doggie Day Out program and you can take a dog out for a day of fun!
The Doggie Day Out program started about a month ago. It was designed with three main goals in mind: to give the shelter dogs a break, help them get adopted, and get the community involved in our local open-access shelter.
As you may remember, any time a dog spends outside of a shelter lowers their cortisol levels. This means, that even just spending an hour or two outside the shelter gives the dog time to relax and de-stress. I mean, shelters are overwhelming for everyone, two or four-legged. After volunteering for a few hours, I certainly need some decompression time.
The first Doggie Day Out I did was with a dog named Wonder. All he wanted to do was chill, eat some treats, and sleep in the cozy backseat of my car. He got to do that for about two hours and I think it really helped him reset because a few days later he was adopted!
I would venture to say an overwhelming majority of people don’t know where Chicago Animal Care & Control is located much less ever been there. Getting people to come to our city shelter isn’t the easiest. We’re located in Little Village on the southwest side of Chicago. Public transportation in the area is minimal and it’s in a more industrial area.
Bringing our dogs into the public helps us connect with the community. When we bring our dogs to places where people can meet them, we get to talk about all the wonderful animals at our city shelter. Having a dog that people want to pet is the best marketing we couldn’t buy.
Sure, we could sit back and let people come to meet our dogs, but we could also proactively bring highly adoptable dogs to meet people! Believe it or not, the Doggie Day Out program has resulted in at least one direct adoption.
A dog named Gordie went on a field trip to Home Depot. While there, he met a woman who fell in love with him. She texted pictures of Gordie to her adult son came by the next day to meet Gordie. It was a perfect match and he adopted Gordie! This all happened because someone wanted to have a fun day with a local shelter pup.
How to sign up
All of this sound like fun? Duh. The good news is that anyone can take a dog out on a field trip! There is no required training course and anyone can take out a dog. You don’t need to be a volunteer, you simply need to be able to give a dog the best day of its life.
The only caveat is that there are only five field trips allowed per day. So, once you have a day in mind, make sure you sign up quickly. To sign up, simply email Caccfoster@cityofchicago.org with the day/time you’d like to take out a dog. The dog can leave for a field trip at 11 am and has to be back by 4 pm.
Not familiar with the city? That’s okay! You will also get an amazing list of places to take the dog that are close by. Unfortunately, dog parks and any sort of meeting between the dog and another pup is not allowed. But, we came up with plenty of things to do so there’s nothing to worry about!
In the end, this Doggie Day Out program is a win for everyone. My Doggie Day Out with Wonder was truly wonderful. Please consider taking a dog on a field trip, it’s guaranteed to put a smile on both your and a shelter dog’s face.
Kingster – Oh man, if I could build my dream dog, this would be it. He’s a low rider, beautiful diluted brindle old man. I will always love the senior dogs because of their laid back, chilled out attitude. Kingster has an issue with his back leg that needs attention. X-rays at CACC were inconclusive but he comes with a little bit of a donation from volunteers if he were to be adopted into a home. He’s done well with other dogs and loves everyone he meets. You can find out more about Kingster here.
Tatiana has been adopted!
As part of my ongoing small business series, I’d like to introduce you to Kiz Chicago. This Bucktown boutique is woman-owned and has just about everything you’d want for fall. Kiz has a store front but you can also shop all the clothes on Instagram. Simply message Kiz with the item you’d like and they’ll send you an invoice! Shop small this holiday season!