June 16, 2016

Running with the Dogs: Our New Volunteer Program

June 16th, 2016

Running with the Dogs
Oregon Ruff Runners & Greenhill Humane Society Establish a New Volunteer Program

Running dog
Charlie after a run with the Ruff Runners!

For Josh and Samara Kramer, the idea started with their own rescue dogs.

“A friend came over and said, ‘you know, maybe you should feed your dog less peanut butter,’” Josh says. “That’s when we realized we need not only to feed them a healthier diet, but to get our dogs more exercise.”

“We thought, really, what’s better than working out, hanging out with dogs, and being outside all day?” says his wife, Samara.

Josh and Samara founded Oregon Ruff Runners, a running service that is dedicated to helping dogs in Eugene and Springfield stay active, occupied, and healthy. The couple recently began volunteering at Greenhill Humane Society to bring the benefits of exercise to shelter pets.

Dr. Gail Schroder, DVM, is the Director of Shelter Medicine for Greenhill Humane Society. She has been working closely with Josh and Samara to create the running program. “Many big dog breeds are natural athletes, so exercise is really important for their general health,” she says.

Dr. Schroder also says the health benefits are especially important for the shelter dogs. “Being confined all day around other barking dogs is stressful. For athletic dogs, getting a chance to run outside relieves nervous energy, stretches the muscles, and provides a much-needed change of scenery. And it’s fun!”

Now that the program is off and running, the Oregon Ruff Runners are putting a call out for additional volunteers. “We live in Track Town USA, where there are a lot of runners and clubs,” says Josh. “We’re hoping we can get them involved in helping shelter dogs live better lives.”

It’s not just about improving the lives of shelter dogs, but also about running with a purpose. For Samara, the run is about “getting these dogs out and seeing how happy they are.”

Josh agrees – “It’s that tongue-out smile when they get back” that keeps the couple running mile after mile.

Anyone interested in becoming a part of the running program should call Greenhill’s volunteer department at 541-689-1503×124 or visit our volunteer page!

Greenhill Humane Society believes in healthy pets in loving homes – interested in having the Ruff Runners help your dog? Visit their website at http://oregonruffrunners.com