PACK (People & Animal Cardio Klub)
Birds fly, fish swim, and dogs run!
Check out more PACK photos on our Facebook album!
Photo by Dolores Hamilton
Make a difference in an animal’s life and get healthy. The People and Animal Cardio Klub (PACK) is a group of volunteers who meet at local parks to run with adoptable Washington Humane Society (WHS) dogs. PACK provides additional outdoor recreation for adoptable dogs while they wait for their forever homes. A well-exercised dog will display a more presentable and accurate representation of their true character when being viewed in their kennel apartments by potential adopters.
By jogging alongside other dogs and people, adoptable dogs gain:
- Exploration of new scenery and fresh air
- A positive outlet to channel tension and energy
- An opportunity to stretch muscles, improve cardio health, & strengthen bones
- Stability and socialization that a pack (human & canine) provides
- An additional opportunity to be seen by potential adopters
- Training that may continue to develop with a new family
PACK volunteers gain:
- New friendships
- Improved cardiovascular health
- A volunteer opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of DC animals
JOIN by filling out our volunteer application.
The History of PACK:
Photo by Wanda Lau
The PACK program began in Spring 2008 when two WHS employees went running with Spike. Spike was one of the first pit bull type dogs to become available for adoption at WHS. He fell into his stride within minutes and ran heel side with his human partner for the duration of the run. Spike focused on his task-at-paw and showed little interest in the other dog running alongside him or of the neighborhood dogs strolling about the city - typical Saturday morning for many, a day at Disney for Spike, and a turning point for a new pilot program. Spike still regularly enjoys outdoor adventures with his adopted family.
How to Get Involved with PACK
Currently, PACK runs Saturday mornings at 8:00 AM. Ideally, volunteers are able to pick up and transport a dog from either the Georgia Avenue NW or New York Avenue NE adoption center to Rock Creek Park or the National Mall.
To join PACK, fill out our volunteer application and attend a Volunteer Orientation. After attending volunteer orientation, new volunteers should attend a New Volunteer Shift at their preferred adoption center and will need to complete safe dog handling training. Once volunteers have finished this training, they'll shadow a PACK mentor volunteer for a minimum of three outings.
We ask PACK volunteers to commit to two outings per month, each outing is about 2-3 hours.
Still have questions? Email Alison Coates at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Hear what others are saying about the PACK!
"PACK provides us valuable information about the dogs at our adoption centers, as well as gives the dogs an energy outlet and mental stimulation. We get to see how the dogs respond to things they don't normally see or hear in the adoption center, such as bikes, sirens, flying kites, and squirrels. This information allows us to give an adopter a picture of what everyday life will be like with this dog. After the run, everybody enjoys a training and snuggle session, where the dogs and volunteers work on behaviors like “sit” and “stay.” Then everyone sits on the ground, while the dogs climb into their laps and lick their faces. PACK is so rewarding for both dogs and volunteers alike." - Alison, Behavior and Training Counselor (Read more on our blog - PACK Works!)
Photo by Wanda Lau
"Kermit is a really great example of what PACK can be good for. When I first started transporting Kermit to PACK in January, he was scared of his own shadow. He was scared to get in the car. If we weren't moving, he stood around shaking, and his tail stayed tucked between his legs almost the whole time. But after a couple trips to PACK, he started loosening up and enjoying himself. He started hopping in the car like a pro and would sit casually waiting for PACK to start. He ran with his tail up and wagging. Based on how he was improving at PACK, I would have never guessed he was having a hard time in the adoption center." - Mary, PACK Volunteer (Read more on our blog - PACK Works!)
"If you've ever needed incentive or motivation to keep running, run with the PACK. It's impossible to quit when you look down at your running partner and see that you've just provided this wonderful dog with a gift so rewarding, necessary, and freeing. Everybody wins when we run." - Dolores, WHS Volunteer
|Support PACK >>|
Interested in becoming a PACK sponsor? Contact our behavior and learning team at firstname.lastname@example.org *Please note this is for sponsorship inquires only. To become a PACK volunteer, please contact our Volunteer Coordinatoor at Volunteer@washhumane.org.