Pike Animal Shelter offers opportunity to rent dogs

Published 9:07 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The heavy rain was starting to fall once again as Hannah Jones pulled into the Pike Animal Shelter Monday afternoon. She was there to return the dog she had “rented” for the day.

Hannah, a Troy University student from Birmingham, and a shelter dog had spent a rainy day together, but the rain did not dampen the spirits of Hannah and certainly not of her “rental” dog.

Hannah heard about the Rent-a-Dog program offered through the Pike Animal Shelter from her sorority sisters at Alpha Delta Pi and Monday was her first day to participate.

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“I love animals but I don’t have a dog here at Troy,” Hannah said. “I have a dog at home and miss it. So, I thought it would be fun to ‘rent’ a dog and take it out to the park and give it a chance to run and play in a big area.”

At Pike Animal Shelter, Hannah had her choice of several dogs. She chose a mid-size dog and one that was a “mix” named “Ridge.”

“I took Ridge over to the university and we went out to the field where I threw him a tennis ball and he had fun doing that,” she said. “I also had a tug rope that he really liked. It was a lot of fun for me and for him. This is certainly something I want to do again.”

The Pike Animal Shelter offers the Rent-a-Dog program and it is growing in popularity, said Jacqueline Meeks, shelter director.

“‘Rent-a-Dog’ implies that there is a fee to ‘rent’ a dog but there is no fee,” Meeks said.

“The program is a way to involve the community with the shelter and keep dogs active. Those participating may pick up a dog for a day to take, maybe to Pike County Lake to run or go swimming or anywhere for it to be active and loved. This is a good program for those who love dogs but can’t have one for some reason.”

Meeks said the program is primarily for dogs but it could also apply to cats.

“Some nursing homes allow cats or kittens to be brought in to visit with residents,” she said. “Animals can combat loneliness and reduce stress and help in along of other ways.”

Those who would like to participate in the Rent-a-Dog program should visit the Pike Animal Shelter and fill out a form and take a dog on a short trial run before renting for a day.