‘Date with a Dog’ Program Supported by PEDIGREE Foundation
The Kentucky Humane Society (KHS) has received a $9,220 grant from PEDIGREE Foundation to help expand its “Date with a Dog” initiative, which allows trained volunteers to “check out” a shelter dog for the day.
“Date with a Dog volunteers have taken dogs out on ‘dates’ to animal-friendly businesses, walks in the park, or home to watch movies and chill on the couch,” said Kaitlyn Murray, KHS Adoptions Manager.
The goal is to give dogs a break from the shelter to reduce their stress, which can help get dogs adopted faster. The program also provides KHS with valuable information on how their dogs behave outside the shelter. Many common nuisance behaviors that present at a shelter – such as barking and jumping up – are a direct result of the stressful environment. Date with a Dog gives the shelter team and potential adopters more information on how dogs may behave in home-like environments.
In 2019 KHS launched its Date with a Dog pilot program at its Sam Swope Pet Retreat, a unique behavioral rehabilitation center for shelter dogs. Volunteers took dogs on more than 150 “dates,” and KHS found that dogs who went on Date with a Dog outings experienced less stress and spent less time in the shelter before adoption. The grant from PEDIGREE Foundation is allowing KHS to expand this program to help even more shelter dogs.
After going through a volunteer orientation session, volunteers can sign up to check out approved dogs from the KHS’ flagship adoption center at its East Campus, 1000 Lyndon Lane, and at the Sam Swope Pet Retreat. KHS provides supplies for the “date,” including leash, harness, treats and bowls. At the end of the date, volunteers fill out a “Rate My Date” survey detailing the dog’s behavior during the outing.
To learn how to sign up for an upcoming volunteer orientation, visit www.kyhumane.org/volunteer.
We believe every dog deserves a loving, forever home. PEDIGREE Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to help end pet homelessness. Nearly 3.5 million dogs end up in shelters and rescues every year, and nearly half never find a home. The foundation was established in 2008 by Mars Petcare, maker of PEDIGREE® food for dogs, to help increase dog adoption rates. We’ve awarded more than 5,500 grants and $8 million to U.S. shelters and rescues that help dogs in need. At PEDIGREE Foundation, we’re working toward a day when all dogs are safe, secure, cared for, fed well and loved. See how you can help: www.PEDIGREEFoundation.org.
About the Kentucky Humane Society
Located in Louisville, the Kentucky Humane Society is a private, nonprofit organization that is Kentucky’s largest pet adoption agency and spay/neuter provider. KHS is also the state’s oldest animal welfare organization, founded in 1884. Follow KHS on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @kyhumane.