For dog lovers, DOGO! may be just about the best dating site ever created.
The San Francisco-based service pairs eager shelter pups with animal lovers interested in sharing a day, but not necessarily a life together. The brainchild of Danielle Bowers, DOGO! came about after she had trouble balancing her full-time job with her volunteer gig at an animal shelter.
"My volunteering experience opened my eyes to the fact that shelter dogs tend to get more and more wound up the longer they’re in the shelter," she told PSFK. "Upon moving to San Francisco, I got involved with Family Dog Rescue and came up with DOGO! as a way to get more people involved, and give the dogs more of an opportunity to get outside of the shelter."
Getting involved with DOGO! is super easy, with interested participants signing up for a two-hour orientation session on the website, followed by one supervised walk. Users are then given access to a shared Google calendar and can sign up for playdates with pups whenever they like. Beaches, parks, hikes, whatever you think might bring a bit of joy into a shelter dog's life is then up to you.
"These dogs are so in need of exercise and socialization, and this is a really good way to get them away from sometimes stressful shelter situations,” Bowers added.
The DOGO! idea is very similar to the Pound Puppy Hike program started more than 10 years ago at Utah's Red Mountain Resort. As Laura Moss described in October, guests interested in walking a rescue dog can "take their canine companions on a hike of up to four miles through the stunning red landscapes of St. George Valley and Padre Canyon." Some 30 dogs have been adopted from the hikes alone.
Unfortunately for the rest of us, brilliant ideas like DOGO! and the Pound Puppy Hike remain local affairs. With so many shelter dogs in the U.S. — and plenty of dog lovers to match — let's hope the rest of the nation gets in on the fun soon.
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