If you need something to do over the weekend, there are significantly worse ways to spend it than hanging out with a shelter dog.
LifeLine Animal Project in Atlanta is asking for folks to swing by their locations and take in a pup for a few days — Friday to Monday — and show them around town, or even take them for a hike. LifeLine gives these short-term caregivers everything they need for a weekend: a crate, some dog food, a sturdy leash, a vest or bandanna that reads "Adopt me!" and some LifeLine business cards in case people want to follow up about giving the doggo a forever home.
This "weekend warriors" program is a win for everyone. It gives dogs a break from living in the animal shelter, and it helps to socialize them around other humans, an important element when it comes to critters getting adopted. The program also raises awareness about the shelter and the cuties that need a new home; and it gives these humans some friendly dog snuggles! In short, it's a great way to volunteer to help an animal shelter while also giving you someone to spend the weekend with.
If you don't live in Atlanta, reach out to your local animal shelter and ask about short-term fostering options. If that doesn't pan out, you can inquire about volunteer opportunities to help animals in need. (For more ideas on that front, check out the many, many ways volunteers can help animal shelters, linked at the end of this story.)
"Some fosters aren't ready to commit to a forever commitment and the weekend fostering takes the stress off a long-term commitment," Joanna McElfish, foster care coordinator for the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, outside of Washington, D.C., told HuffPost in 2015. "Fosters end up falling in love with the animals and keep them anyways. It's a great way to decide if pet ownership is for a person."