Home
Print|Email|Text Size: ||
Expanding Rescue’s Reach through Soccer

Writing for The Bark, I’m always hearing ideas for making the lives of dogs richer, safer and healthier. From ways to increase spay/neuter and more engaging toys to surprising activities and rescue initiatives. Not every idea takes off but it’s the energy and creativity I find so inspiring. I wish there was an equivalent in the dog world to venture capital competitions for tech startups—a gathering for dog-interested companies, foundations and individuals to learn about and support for-profit and not-for-profit pitches. Like Mark Lukas’s soccer dogs idea.

Lukas owns the Florida-based Soccer Collies, which features his two fired-up soccer-playing Border Collies, Ms. Z and Bek, who have performed at various events including L.A. Galaxy games, SoccerNation Expo, festivals, private parties and much more. The dogs shoot and score on their two-footed goaltenders. Participants love the soccer dogs and often say they want one of their own, which fits beautifully with Lukas’s larger vision.

He wants to introduce a simple soccer program into shelters across the country. Essentially, shelter staff would identify ball-motivated dogs and promote them for rescue on a soccer dog website. There might even be a video component. In the end, you draw soccer families into rescue and the dogs end up in active, playful families where they are likely to have plenty of exercise and stimulation. Lukas has been developing the idea with the Humane Society of Marion County, Fla.

I like that the idea could reach into an active, organized community that might otherwise be a little outside the everyday rescue conversation—expanding the pool of adopters.

Print|Email
Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com

Images courtesy Mark Lukas.

More From The Bark

By
Julia Kamysz Lane
By
Kathleen St. John
By
Lisa Wogan
By
Phil Austin
By
The Bark
By
Nancy Kay
More in Guest Posts:
Now You Can Have Fit and Fun Dogs With Very Little Effort
Can Your Home be Beautiful and Dog-Friendly?
Is Your Dog Fat?
Midwest Canine Influenza Outbreak
Dogs Don't Remember Yesterday, Claims Psychologist
Best Dog-Friendly Vehicles
Thinking Outside The Cage
Skiing with Dogs
Helicopter Pet Parents
Dogs Are The Best On A Snowy Day