WACO, Texas — Several shelters in Central Texas are seeing an uptick in animals being brought in, causing some to near capacity. In order to help promote adoptions, the Humane Society of Central Texas has created the Alpha Dog Competition.
Gyms and local businesses will have their participants take dogs from the shelter and exercise with them for a day.
Miles will be tracked and recorded, and the gym or business with the most miles at the end of each month will get to house a trophy.
“It’s an opportunity for them to get out in the community and get exercise, get enrichment, and not just get walked around here, but it also gives them an opportunity for people to see them who aren’t coming to the shelter," Mike Gray, canine enrichment and behavior specialist, said.
Gray came up with the idea and is hoping it will get these dogs to open up a bit and to show off how they would act as a pet away from the shelter. He says that all dogs are a little bit different once they are in a new environment.
Participants don't have to belong to the gym or business, but can just name who they want their miles to go toward. When they arrive, they'll be matched with a dog, given them for the day and will return the pet before closing or opt to keep them for another day.
“We want people to feel comfortable taking the dog out for the day, knowing they are probably getting one of the best days of their life," Paula Rivadeniera, executive director of the humane society, said. "So even if it doesn’t get adopted by one of the volunteers that take it out or by someone who meets them out there, it still makes them more adoptable.”
The competition will begin on June 1 and they are still looking for any businesses that would like to participate.