Virginia police officer takes shelter dogs into the community to find forever homes


WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — CJ, a 9-year-old pit bull mix, has been at the Heritage Humane Society since November.

Most days he watches as prospective families pass him by, but on Tuesday there was someone who’d been waiting to meet him.

CJ is going on a trip, and his road dog is Williamsburg senior police officer Aundrea Holiday.

“She comes in first thing in the morning and she picks up one of our adoptable dogs and they get the entire morning to go out and really explore Williamsburg,” explained Jennifer Lafountain, the humane society’s volunteer and community engagement manager.

It’s all a part of the Canine for a Day Program, through a partnership with the shelter and police department.

The goal is to get a shelter dog exposed out in the community, so it has a better chance at finding a forever home.

“All of the adoptable pets she’s taken out in 2019 have been adopted out,” Lafountain said.

CJ’s first stop was a nice stroll through downtown Williamsburg.

“They get their energy out, they get their zoomies out and just have a great time,” smiled Holiday.

Then it was time to buckle up again and make some new friends at city hall.

“Look who I have today! This is CJ,” Holiday said as she passed offices.

Holiday says it’s not only rewarding for the pup, but also those they meet along the way.

“You should see peoples faces, they get a big smile on their face as soon as you see them, so it kind of makes other people’s day too.”

Then they hit other places, like the police department, and local businesses.

To top it all off, each dog gets to chow down on a cheeseburger.

“I just think it’s amazing they can experience what every dog should experience you know, a home with a family that loves them and they’re going to be taken care of for the rest of their life,” Holiday said.

It’s a day that consists of a lot of tail wagging and drooly smiles, but even more love.

“There was multiple times where people met the dog while she was out and the same day come by and meet the animal,” Lafountain said.

While other officers have been trained to take out the shelter dogs, right now Holiday is the only one that does it.

She says right now they’re short staffed, so once they make some more hires they can put more manpower into the program.

Although she does admit this is the best part of her week.

If you’re interested in adopting CJ, please reach out to the Heritage Humane Society.

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