In case you were not aware yet, this past spring St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Shelter in Madison started a new program: Doggy Field Trip Days! Essentially, a person is able to take a dog out of the shelter for the day to take on walks, car rides or just to curl up in bed with while watching television. The dogs are great and completely enjoy the time out of the shelter spending time with people.
So, how do you get started in the program? If you are over the age of 18 and have a government-issued form of identification, just head over to the shelter! St. Hubert’s is just around a 20 minute walk from the Glenwild Lot Gate. When you arrive, they will take a photocopy of your ID and have you fill out some paperwork to make sure you are able to do the program. The whole process takes all of five minutes.
COURTESY OF KELLY NOTINE
Once everything is set, you can look through a binder with pictures and descriptions of all the dogs available to be taken out on these trips. These dogs range in sizes, ages, breeds and walking ability. Not a pro-dog walker? That’s fine! There are dogs who are very easy to walk and St. Huberts staff will be more than happy to help you pick the right dog.
Once you have picked out the dog you want to spoil for a few hours, a staff member will bring them out to you! These dogs are required to wear a vest that says “Adopt Me!” on it to let people know that they are up for adoption! One of the main reasons this program exists, besides giving the dogs some outdoor exercise time, is for the possibility of finding a possible adopter on one of these outings. Even if the dogs don’t find an adopter on their walk, these trips still provide much needed attention and stimulation. Sitting in a kennel all day is no fun; however, going on walks or car rides to see new things and meet new people is! Just make sure to bring the dog back in time.
COURTESY OF CHRISTINA BEVIANO
When the trip is over, there is a form to fill out about the activities you did together and how the dog reacted to certain things. There are just a few rules to follow: only one dog can be taken out at a time per person or group, and that dog is not allowed to interact with other dogs while they are out, regardless of if the other dog is from the shelter or not. This ensures the safety of the dogs and the people walking them.
Not interested in being with dogs? The shelter also has a cat room which you can go into, with a staff member, and play with the cats for a bit. There is also a small animal room which has rabbits, rats, guinea pigs and such that you can pet and visit. Want to take it a step further? Contact the shelter and see what volunteer positions are available!
Get involved at St. Huberts!
St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Shelter
575 Woodland Ave, Madison, NJ
Monday thru Friday hours from 10 a.m.-3p.m.
Saturday hours from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Sunday hours from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.