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New Jersey Shelter Starts ‘Rent-A-Dog’ Program for the Best Reason

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Even when they have a no-kill policy, animal shelters are far from an ideal place for a dog. Most shelters are always overcrowded, and despite the best efforts by the shelter staff and volunteers, dogs often spend their days inside their cages, waiting for someone to adopt them- which can take weeks, months, or even years. Of course, this can have a big impact on a dog’s well-being: without exercise, socialization, pooches can become depressed or destructive, which in turn lowers their chances of getting adopted. To break this horrible circle, Camden County Animal Shelter came up with an unusual idea.

‘Rent-A-Dog’ program might sound dubious and irresponsible, but it’s actually a great idea. The way the shelter initiative works is quite simple, really: for a few hours, their dogs get a chance to venture out of the cages in the shelter and go on mini-adventures with willing volunteers. Having an opportunity to spend some time off the shelter’s premises and decompress, as well as be pampered by a loving human, means a world to these homeless pooches. Additionally, being in a normal environment and interacting with people helps them keep their social skills sharp and more likely to get adopted!

The program has been active for about a week, and it’s already a roaring success. If you’re from New Jersey and would love to make some lucky pooch’s day, this is your chance. Camden County Animal Shelter has five dogs available for the ‘Rent-A-Dog’ program daily, and you can enjoy their company for one to three hours- whether it’s to take them on a walk or a hike, or a just have a cuddle fest with a furball in need of love.


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