RICHMOND (WRIC)—It's a new year, and hopefully, a fresh beginning for some dogs waiting for their forever homes. This week wraps up a holiday program that gets them out of area shelters and ready for families of their own.
New Year's Day was not like any other day for Karl at Richmond Animal Care and Control. This pit bull mix is putting his life behind bars behind him, at least for a little while. On Wednesday, Karl went on a canine adventure.
"A lot of times when you meet a dog in the kennel, they're jumping and barking and just going crazy, because they've got so much energy and they haven't been out in a while," said Josh Rickey, the founder of Canine Adventure.
For Christmas, sponsors gave 57 dogs at the city shelter the gift of a day out through Canine Adventure.
Will Lowrey, of rescue group Gracie's Guardians, says some dogs have already been adopted, because they get so much out of the walks, and it shows.
"To see a dog romping on a trail or chewing on a stick is a very different picture," Lowrey said. "There's sunshine and there's dirt under their paws, and they can actually walk, and they can be with another person. They can encounter dogs and see things that are really a natural environment."
Canine Advnture provides one-on-one attention over the course of a few hours. Handlers get a feel for the dogs' personalities, helping dogs like Karl put his best foot forward.
Rickey said, "We take them to the river and work on leash skills … work on general obedience and impulse control, but then also we do swimming and rock hopping and general socialization."
"These are adoptable dogs, and they're ready-made pets," Rickey added. "A lot of them are better behaved than my dogs, and they just need a home."
The Canine Adventure program is continuing on into 2014 at Richmond Animal Care and Control, Richmond Animal League and the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA.
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