Dog Day Out


Anna Mayo '20, Staff Writer

Have you ever wanted to help an animal in need, but maybe you do not have the resources to keep an animal long-term? Look no further! The Jacksonville Humane Society has just recently started a program called “Dog Day Out”, where participants are allowed to take a dog out of the shelter for a whole day. 

My friend Klare and I went through the program a few weekends ago, and I can confidently say we adored the time we got to spend with Cinnamon, our dog, and we plan on going and taking another dog out as soon as time allows.

The criteria for Dog Day Out is minimal. You must be 18, and the dog you choose may not have any signs of aggression on file. For example, the first dog Klare and I chose was unable to have a day out with us because she had a bite on her file from a previous owner.

The shelter kindly took time to go through their database, and they found Cinnamon for us. Since I am not yet 18, Klare filled out the paperwork and gave her personal information to them. After everything was complete, we took Cinnamon to Klare’s grandparents house, where we played fetch with her and where she ran as much as she wanted with us. 

Cinnamon was a sweet and attentive girl, she never left our side, and when we ate lunch, she did not beg or jump on to us. However, it is important to understand shelter dogs don’t get this experience often, and they can react unexpectedly even if they have the sweetest disposition.

Once, I was taking the ball out of her mouth to throw for her, but she got too excited and gripped my arm with her teeth. It was nothing serious. She didn’t break skin, but it did leave imprints. It by no means ruined any of our fun, as we continued to play fetch and wrestled around. 

I highly recommend taking part in this program, not only as a fun day for yourself, but as a way to give loving animals time away from their cold cages. As hard as Humane Society volunteers work, an air conditioned concrete cage is no match to the outside world dogs belong in, and you can give that to a dog, even if it’s just for a day.

Image courtesy of Anna Mayo ’20.