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Life in a shelter can be hard on a dog, especially when days of waiting for a forever family turn into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years. That’s because shelter dogs, just like humans, need socialization, mental stimulation, and physical activity to be their best.
And that’s why Kitsap Humane Society created the Puppuccino Pals Program.
Every Tuesday, KHS volunteer Molly Clark takes one lucky dog from the shelter to the local Starbucks and treats him or her to a delicious Puppuccino. (Puppuccinos are a special Starbucks treat – basically, just whipped cream in a cup – made for dogs.) This gives the dogs invaluable one-on-one time with a volunteer, and a chance to de-stress outside the shelter. And if they love riding in cars, it’s sort of a double treat.
As KHS Events and Outreach Assistant Coordinator Kimberly Cizek Allen said:
“The dogs LOVE the shelter breaks, and they adore the Puppuccinos. You can see it in their little eyes as they lick the whipped cream out of the cup.”
But a treat and some de-stressing aren’t the only things the dogs get out of the deal. The local Starbucks posts a sign featuring every “Dog of the Week,” in hopes of getting them adopted and out of the shelter for good. These dogs are also highlighted on the KHS Instagram account.
And for those dogs who don’t like car rides or are sensitive to crowds, the program still finds a way to give them exposure, a chance to be seen and adopted, and a delicious Puppuccino.
According to Allen: “Should a dog not be suited for an outing, Molly will take another dog, and bring a Puppuccino back. That way the Puppuccino Pals dog can enjoy play yard time, or quiet room time, or whatever is most appropriate and still be featured in our program!”
The Puppuccino Pals Program is a great way of accomplishing so many wonderful things at once – it helps shelter dogs de-stress, it helps them get adopted, and it reminds the community of the value of adoption. Of course, not every shelter has the resources to do this sort of thing, but it’s easy to see how much better the world would be if they did.
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