The city of Denver has introduced a unique program aimed at getting cooped-up officer workers up and active. The second annual Human Walking Program pairs participants up with a shelter dog to be their temporary walking buddy for a certain time on set days.
The program aims to not only help people get outdoors, but also give shelter dogs an opportunity for much needed companionship. The lunchtime event is on a first-come, first-served basis and gives people an alotted time to go for a walk or enjoy time outdoors with a dog. Hosted by the Denver Public Library, the program has gotten rave reviews and everyone loves the idea.
“I first saw the idea online after it started in Melbourne, Australia,” said Trish Tilly, event coordinator for Denver Public Library told the Denver Post. “One of the shelters down there was adopting out all of their dogs this way, and everybody at our library thought it was a great idea.”
Last year, more than 150 people turned out to participate in the Human Walking program. In fact, it was so successful Tilly says it even resulted in several dogs getting adopted.
Tilly also explains that there is always a representative from the shelter available to help the participant with any questions or to help guide the dog if needed. There will also be information on pet adoption, pet fostering and shelter volunteer opportunities.
Tilly says that the program is the first of its kind, but she hopes that its success inspires other cities to follow suit.
“The central library is a great place to host it because this program is really geared toward the neighboring office workers,” she says. “A lot of the people that came over (last year) wondered why we didn’t do this all the time. They said they’d come over every single week if they could.”
For more information on this unique event, visit the Denver Library’s website at denverlibrary.org.