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New Shelter Program Allows You To Take Dogs Out for a Day of Fun To Relieve Pups' Stress

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Foster care can be a beautiful thing. The kindhearted individuals who take children — including those of the furry variety — into their homes and make a positive impact in their lives are certainly special people.

Now there’s a new program that allows canine-loving volunteers to impact the lives of shelter pups in just a few short hours.



The “Happy Hour” and “In Real Life” programs are available through the Humane Rescue Alliance. Both launched in February.

“Through of our short-term foster programs, Happy Hour and In Real Life, 26 dogs spent time out of the shelter and relaxing at home,” HRA shared on Facebook at the programs’ onset.

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“Foster parents fulfill a critical component of our life-saving work,” the HRA foster program page reads. “Any individual, family, or business with the compassion and willingness to help animals-in-need can serve as a foster parent.”

The “In Real Life” program allows volunteers to take a dog home for a few days. But the “Happy Hour” program lasts just a few hours.



Would you be interested in fostering a dog through the 'Happy Hour' program?

“There’s research out there that says the stress hormone dogs experience when they’re in a shelter environment significantly decreases as soon as they leave,” director of volunteer and foster resources at the Humane Rescue Alliance, Jennah Billeter, told Washingtonian.

“The main goal of Happy Hour is really just to give a dog a break,” Billeter went on. And those short breaks are making a huge difference.

The program allows volunteers to take dogs out of either of the Alliance’s two shelters. After foster training, volunteers can stop by the shelter, choose a pre-approved dog to play with for a few hours, and return them later that day.

Volunteers are loving the idea too. Peggy Cusack, a 49-year-old volunteer who’s been involved with HRA for 2 years, has a lot of fun with it.

“You see the dog do this stress-relief movement, this body shake, and you’re like, ‘Ah, this is helping.’ They love the people contact. It gives them that one-on-one ‘I have a person,'” Cusack told Washingtonian.

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“It’s a break from the real world, and I know it’s helping the dogs,” she added.



Other foster programs through HRA include “Safe Haven” and “Humane Heroes.” Both involve the Humane Law Enforcement Department and are specifically geared toward helping abused or neglected animals.

According to Washingtonian, more than 100 shelters across the country now offer foster programs similar to those at HRA. To learn more about how you can get involved, contact your local animal shelter to find out if fostering is available in your area.

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Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.
Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.

Sarah's experience as a successful working stay-at-home mom and business owner has given her the chance to write and research often. She stays up to date on the latest in entertainment and offers her views on celebrity stories based on her wide knowledge of the industry. Her success as a former preschool teacher and licensed daycare provider lend to her know-how on topics relating to parenting and childhood education.

Her thoughts on faith and family issues stem from home life and ministry work. Sarah takes time to attend workshops and classes annually that help her to improve and hone her writing craft. She is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature program and her writing has been acclaimed by ACFW and ECPA.
Education
Institute of Children's Literature, Art Institute of Phoenix (Advertising), University of California Irvine (Theater), Snow College (Early Childhood Education)
Location
Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith




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