Daily Walrus - Helping People Help Animals

Don’t have a dog? Take a shelter dog out for a stroll. | January 10, 2008

Jenny and I are very lucky to have the space in our Brooklyn apartment for 2 cats and a dog.  One of the highlights of our day is taking Luigi to the park in the morning (even when its freezing outside).  We also get to take him on several daily walks through our neighborhood.  The walks are a great chance to get some fresh air, say hello to the neighbors, and get some exercise.  Luigi gets the same benefits, though his “hello” to the neighborhood dogs is a bit more personal than I care to get with our neighbors. 

Not all humans are lucky enough to have a dog to walk – and unfortunately not all dogs have humans to take them for walks.  There are so many dogs in shelters that would LOVE to go for a walk around the block with you.  All you have to do is step up and volunteer.  Contact your local shelter and ask if they allow volunteers to come in and take their adoptees out for a stroll.  Most places would be happy to let you.

If you don’t live near a shelter, think about neighbors you may have that leave their dogs tied up in back yards or cramped in crates all day.  Ask them if you can walk their dogs for them when they are at work.  Many elderly folks have great companion animals but due to limited mobility, long daily walks come fewer and far between.  Let your older relatives or neighbors know that you are willing to give their dogs the exercise they need. 

Remember that when asking relatives or neighbors, this should be done politely.  Don’t imply that they don’t love or care for their dog (even though chaining dogs for extended hours is illegal in many states).  You can tell them that you are considering adopting a pup and want to walk and play with some neighborhood dogs first to get a feel for different sizes.  If you already have a dog, offer to take the neighbor’s dog on your regular walks.    

There are a couple of things to remember for safety – if you don’t feel comfortable near your neighbors dog (or a shelter dog), let someone else handle that one.  Sometimes dogs who are neglected can be aggressive around new people.  Also, if walking at night, walk in well lit areas, wear bright, reflective clothing and carry a cell phone.  Plan your routes ahead so you don’t get lost and stick to areas you know. 

Shelters are a great place to start so ask if they need volunteer walkers.  Both you and the dog(s) will get much needed exercise and you’ll make a new furry friend extremely happy.         



  1. This is a great idea. I never thought of it before.

    Comment by 4urpets — January 10, 2008 @ 11:51 pm

  2. This is a great post. Made my day. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by gooddogzbeth — January 13, 2008 @ 5:58 pm

  3. I agree 🙂 Our family adopted Bear and Buttercup from a kill shelter in Arkansas. They are truly a blessing to us and in August we adopted another dog.

    Comment by Ginny — January 15, 2008 @ 4:16 am

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About author

Hello - we are Jenny and Ryan, a couple living in Brooklyn, New York. We are both busy with school and work but try to take time to do something every day to make the world a better place for animals. Occasionally we may link to outside websites for additional resources, but we do not necessarily endorse all policies of these organizations. Despite the title of our blog, the focus is not only on walruses. So what's with the title? We named this blog after our cat, Wally, aka The Walrus. We are the proud parents of two cats (Wally and Tito) and one dog (Luigi).







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