Dogs from shelters have often had difficult backgrounds. They might have been abused, neglected, or just come from a home that couldn't meet their needs.Because of this, many shelter dogs are wary around their fellow canines, or just don't know how to socialize properly. This can lead to them being less likely to be adopted, and means that they might live out their lives without a loving family.Luckily for abandoned pups in Wilmington, Delaware, local dog lovers have come up with a solution.
For the past year, Delaware Humane Association (DHA) has been organizing a 'Bring and Make a Friend' event, where dog owners can bring their pets along for a stroll along the riverfront and help keep their dogs social and happy.Originally, the event was small and took place after-hours, which meant that shelter dogs couldn't go. But as it became more popular, helped by a partnership with a local beer garden, the event was moved to an earlier slot, so adoptable pooches could be taken out by volunteers.
It's an incredibly important event for these dogs, as Stephanie Gomez, DHA's animal marketing and event coordinator told Delaware Online:
It's for their health, to get them out of the shelter and see how they are out in the real world and sort of showcase them [...] It's just to help socialize dogs and talk with fellow pet lovers. It's mostly about spreading information about Delaware Humane Association.
Friendly canines like King and Prince, who went on the last group walk, attend the event in orange vests, which tell the public that they are adoptable. It is hoped that, by getting to show off their good behavior, they will be more likely to be adopted. Gomez added:
The world is learning that shelter dogs are not damaged goods. Getting them out in public shows they're just dogs regardless of where you get them.
If you would like to attend one of these walks, you can learn more on the Facebook event page here! Each walk starts and ends at Constitution Yards on the Wilmington Riverfront.
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