We all know that many dogs are in need of rescue, but The Lost Dogs Home in Melbourne Australia took a different approach to enticing people to their facility. They started a program called the Human Walking Program, which offers relief to office workers who spend too much time indoors and sitting at their desks.
They offered people the opportunity to spend time over their lunch hour outdoors walking dogs. The promise of fresh air, a little exercise and time with a new canine buddy was very appealing. At the inaugural event in April 2014, over 5000 office workers were rescued from their daily grind and all of the available dogs were adopted.
Most of us realize that people need rescuing just like dogs do. The Human Walking Program turns that fact into happiness for members of both species. I’d love to see programs like this become popular in other countries.
Karen B. London, PhD, is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer whose clinical work over the last 17 years has focused on the evaluation and treatment of serious behavioral problems in dogs, especially aggression. Karen has been writing the behavior column for The Bark since 2012 and wrote The Bark’s training column and various other articles for eight years before that. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University, and teaches a tropical field biology course in Costa Rica. Karen writes an animal column, The London Zoo, which appear in The Arizona Daily Sun and is the author of five books on canine training and behavior. She is working on her next book, which she expects to be published in 2017.