Winnipeg Animal Services Agency’s Doggie Date program aims to help both dogs who rest from living in a shelter and socialize with people, as well as people who receive pleasant emotions from a new furry friend.
The program has been operating in Winnipeg for a little over 4 months. Leland Gordon, Chief Operating Officer with Winnipeg Animal Services Agency, said that the program is very popular with people who love dogs, but at the moment cannot take it to live on a permanent basis. People take dogs home for one evening, for a weekend or a week.
Some dogs are luckier, and after they get acquainted, they remain to live with the new owners. Robert Graham and Mary McInnes were able to find a new best friend using this program. A few years ago they lost their last dog and now decided to try to get a pet again. They took the dog named Bella for a week to get to know her better.
The couple drove the dog to the park to communicate with other dogs. They were pleasantly surprised that the dog already knew their voices on the first day and ran when they called her. After a trial week, Robert and Mary decided to leave her to live at home.
Anneliese Fritz also found herself a furry friend through a dating program. Lincoln Continental IV was not the first dog she picked up from the shelter. She believes that this program is ideal for those who are not sure whether to take a dog from a shelter or for those who want to get a dog for the first time. Within a few days, a person can understand whether he really wants it and whether he can care for a dog.
Fritz also first took the dog for a week, when she learned that this can be done with the new program. “I do think that this is an excellent idea, try before you buy, because I watch some people bring them back,” Fritz said.
Doggie Dates are also an excellent option for families with children in which kids beg to buy them a dog. During this time, children will be able to learn how to care for animals and what responsibility they take upon themselves. “If your kids are driving you nuts because they want a dog and you don’t think they’re ready and you want to take home a dog for the weekend, that’s a great idea for a Doggie Date — try that out,” Gordon said.
Anyone who wants to go on a date with a dog from a shelter can call 311 or visit Animal Services Agency personally.