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These high school cross-country runners are changing the lives of shelter dogs


Caring for all of God’s creatures is an important duty and these young people are showing us how…

Students at St Joseph’s High School in California have combined their regular cross-country runs with taking shelter dogs out for a run — and the result is magical. Not only do our four-legged friends get exercise, they have the chance of receiving affection.

The students also get a lot from these running sessions — they learn to care for animals as they earn community service credits. One student, Joshua, went so far as adopting his furry training partner, Fred.

The school’s athletic coach, Luis Escobar, has reported that this initiative has proved so successful that thanks to the publicity the training sessions video has garnered, many of these dogs have found a happy home. Better still, other athletic teams have picked up on the idea and are looking to take dogs from their local shelters for runs too.

As Escobar points out to the Santa Maria Times, while the runs are a wonderful opportunity for these lonely dogs, “Anybody can do it. It doesn’t have to a be big thing; it can just be walking a dog.”

The idea of a simple walk is great for families who aren’t in a position to welcome dogs into their homes on a permanent basis. Kids can witness the joy of caring for an animal while these dogs, who are often lacking in affection, get a little bit of love.


Read more: The Blessing of the Animals: Paw-inspiring photos from around the world

Read more: What happens when shelter dogs listen to classical music


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