The cross-country running team at St. Joseph High School in Santa Maria, California, decided to invite their local shelter dogs along for a run in August 2016.And the staff at the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter were delighted to allow their dogs to get some sun and stretch their legs.
According to team coach Luis Escobar on Facebook, “I am not sure who was more excited and having the most fun… the dogs or the kids.”I couldn’t help but smile when I saw the video from the run on Facebook, and apparently I’m not alone.Hundreds of thousands of people watched the video, including runners and coaches from other schools.
“I posted something about it on our Facebook page after we got back,” Escobar told the Santa Maria Times.”It quickly gained hundreds of shares and thousands of likes.I received inquiries from coaches and athletic directors all over the country.”What began as a fun run with local shelter dogs appears to be spreading to schools across the country.
The run was also a local success, and the students have already taken the dogs for another run.I’m overjoyed because it’s great for the dogs, gets them out into the community, and increases the likelihood that they’ll be adopted soon.
“It’s a win-win situation,” Escobar said.The dogs get plenty of exercise, and the kids get to know the dogs.Perhaps they will discuss it with their parents and friends, and the dogs will become more adoptable.”