The cross-country running squad at St. Joseph High School in Santa Maria, California, determined in August 2016 that they would like to invite their neighborhood shelter dogs along for a run.

Additionally, the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter crew was pleased to allow their dogs to enjoy a little sun and exercise.


All reports indicate that it was a blast, and squad coach Luis Escobar posted on Facebook, “I am not sure who was more excited and having the most fun, the dogs or the kids.”

I couldn’t help but smile when I saw the footage from the run on Facebook, and it turns out I’m not the only one. Thousands of individuals, including coaches and runners from other schools, watched the video.


“After we returned, I posted something about it on our Facebook page,” Escobar told the Santa Maria Times. “Almost immediately, it got hundreds of shares and thousands of likes. I got calls from coaches and athletic directors across the country asking about it.”

What started as a fun run involving the dogs from the local animal shelter appears to have the potential to expand to classrooms everywhere.

Santa Barbara County Animal Services/Facebook

The pupils have already taken the dogs on a second run after the run, which was also successful locally.

I couldn’t be happy because it benefits the dogs, gets them out into the community, and raises their chances of adoption.

As Escobar said, “It’s a win-win situation. The dogs get good exercise, and the kids get exposed to the dogs. Maybe they talk about it with their parents and friends, and the dogs become more adoptable.” Luis Escobar

Fosters thoughtfulness, kindness, and optimism to assist in finding a solution for homeless shelter dogs.

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