What is Doggie Date?
Doggie Date allows you to interact with deserving shelter dogs in an environment of your choice. Plan an afternoon or a weekend of fun, and we’ll hook you up with the perfect canine companion. There’s no cost or commitment, only good times—and potentially, a few kisses—ahead.
Why Doggie Date?
In addition to shaking up your routine with a unique experience, Doggie Date offers a host of benefits for all those involved: the dogs, the shelter, and the participants.
- Shelters are stressful places, but dates gives dogs a chance to enjoy new surroundings, exercise, socialize, and unwind. Dogs return to the shelter less stressed, which means they’ll be more likely to find happily-ever-after with a special someone.
- When out on the town, our dogs meet a whole new crowd of potential adopters. Then they reach even more people through those adorable selfies you snap. So hashtag that #doggiedate, and our highly eligible canines will benefit from the social media #love and exposure.
- Dates allow us to find out how a dog will behave in a home setting—something that improves our marketing efforts. (Does he beg dramatically, yet politely? Resist the urge to drink out of toilets? Climb stairs with ease? Details transform an ordinary shelter dog into a pup that someone has to meet.) Moreover, we can give future owners a heads up about a dog’s quirks.
- Having dogs out, even for an overnight, reduces the burden on shelter staff who normally clean between 150 and 200 kennels per day. Imagine that.
- Pets provide more health benefits than the latest fad diet and a stress ball combined. But what if you can’t own a pet? Have no fear, even limited time spent with a pet makes a difference in your overall well-being. Since Doggie Date encourages you to do something active and social where you can exercise and interact with others in real life, it’s extra beneficial to your health.
- With its low barrier to entry and minimal time commitment, this program also allows you to do something good on your schedule. You can make a difference on days when your other plans fall through. And you can make a difference while doing something you love, like hiking or watching football—it’ll just be with a furry friend at your side.
- Finally, Doggie Date allows you to see if you have chemistry with a potential partner before committing to forevermore. After a few dates—or an extended date—it will become clear if a dog is “the one.” If adoption is your ultimate goal, think of this program as a low-risk, first step.
Your First Date
Complete an application either at the shelter or online. It make take up to five business days to process your application and once you're approved, you'll receive an email. Please check your junk email folder or email email@example.com if you don't hear from us in a week. If you applied while the program was closed due to COVID, please reapply. We received thousands upon thousands of applications, and we'll be able to expedite the approval process if you simply re-apply. Thank you for your understanding!
Once you're approved, email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a date, and let us know if you have particular dogs in mind. Otherwise, we'll select a dog for you based on your experience, intended activities, and date length. Currently, we're offering two types of dates: afternoon dates and weekend-long (Friday until Monday) dates. Plan to leave your own dog at home if you have an afternoon date. And plan to bring your dog in for a meet and greet with potential dates if you're having a weekend-long date.
Pick up time is between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. We’ll provide you with the essentials—a collar, leash, and waste bags, plus food and a bowl, if needed. We’ll also provide you with basic instructions and ensure you’re comfortable with your date. Then you will simply sign a liability waiver, provide valid identification, and take off. You’ll need to return your date by “curfew."
No matter what sort of activities you do, while you’re out, you’ll take a gratuitous number of pics, and of course, you’ll please remember to share and tag us (hint, hint).
When you bring our dog back to the shelter, you’ll also bring back a completed scorecard. Was your date a sparks-flying 10 on a 10-point scale? You’ll tell us all about your time and the pup’s behavior.
In the future, you can take the same dog out, or meet a different dog.
As a participant in the Doggie Date program, you agree to:
- Have the dog under your supervision at all times
- Never leave children unattended with a dog; participants must be 18+ years old
- Inform us if the dog bites anyone (you included) right away
- Keep the dog on leash at all times unless confined in your home/back yard
- Refrain from taking the dog to off-leash areas
- Dog parks are strictly off limits
- Pick up and return the dog at the agreed upon times
- Transport the dog in a safe manner (not in the open bed of a truck)
- Report any behavior or medical concerns to the shelter
- Keep the dog safe by providing adequate rest, shade, shelter, and water
- Utilize only positive reinforcement training
- Have a cell phone with you at all times that can be used to contact you
- Present the dog in a positive way to potential adopters and members of the public
Made Possible by the Petco Foundation
A grant from the Petco Foundation makes Doggie Date possible! We are forever grateful to this organization for the support they've shown our shelter and animals.