School may be out for summer, but Caring Hands Humane Society is looking to give dogs the chance to go on field trips all year long.
Lauren Kingsley, volunteer coordinator at Caring Hands Humane Society, said its new Adventure Tails program was launched last week as a way for dogs to run, play and get individual attention.
"Lots of other shelters around the country have tried it and have had improvements in the dogs' behavior and the number of dog adoptions," Kingsley said.
Volunteers who are at least 18 years old pay a one-time fee of $20 to participate in Adventure Tails, which allows them to take a dog out as often as they like to a pre-approved place in Newton. The list of sites currently includes 10 trails and parks (like Athletic Park, Centennial Park, Sand Creek Bike Path, etc.) and four restaurants with patio areas (Mojo's Coffee Bar, Moxie, Back Alley Pizza, etc.).
"We looked at them and scoped out what was around them to see if a dog got loose, that it'd still be safe in the area," Kingsley said.
Visits to a dog park are not allowed to minimize the chances of meeting up with another dog, for both of the animals' safety.
"People are welcome to take dogs to their homes, as well, if you just want a cuddle buddy for the day," Kingsley said.
The dogs are not allowed to be off leash unless they are inside your home and, while there, it cannot meet any other personal pets. Children can interact with the dog, as long as an adult is present.
Adventure Tails volunteers are asked to fill out a matchmaker questionnaire to mark their preferences about the size and personality of the dog they would like to spend time with, watch an orientation video and complete an orientation quiz, all of which are available on the CHHS website.
Dogs can be picked up for their time away from the animal shelter between 10 a.m. and noon, must be kept for at least two hours and returned before 4:30 p.m. the same day.
CHHS provides harnesses, leashes, a water bowl and treats for the dog, along with gear that indicates they are up for adoption. Adventure Tails volunteers are requested to take and share as many pictures and videos as they can of the dog during their time together to give potential adopters a sense of their personality.
"If we can get one dog out, we're super happy," Kingsley said.
For more information about Adventure Tails and Caring Hands Humane Society, go to http://www.caringhandshs.org/adventuretails.html or call 316-283-0839