Volunteer to exercise shelter dogs and help them find forever homes
A personal trainer from New South Wales has come up with the perfect plan to get people moving while also helping shelter dogs find a new home.
Jason Siebert was in his 20s when he began volunteering at a local animal shelter. He quickly realised that there weren't enough volunteers to make sure all the animals were frequently exercised.
Now a personal trainer, Siebert has combined his love of animals with his passion for fitness, creating a program that allows people to exercise with rescue dogs in hopes of finding them a forever home.
The program is called Rescue Your Fitness, and each week people gather with their borrowed pooches for a run in the park. Photos of the animals are then shared on their social media accounts, including information about their personality and temperament, so they can be adopted.
This is Rumble the Staffy, who loved the car ride and jumped straight into the front seat when Corrine picked him up for their run.
Button also loved being taken out for a jog with running partner Aimee.
Ellis needs a lot of space to release all his built-up energy but is a gorgeous dog, says running partner Jamie.
This is Scott with his running partner Tank, who found his forever home just five days later.
Recent research reveals that having a dog could be the key to maintaining a long-term healthy lifestyle. People with dogs often become more active, as the dogs become a strong motivator for getting up and moving.
One particular study found that older people were more likely to go on regular walks if their walking partner was a dog.
Another study out of Michigan State University found that approximately half of dog walkers exercise 30 minutes a day compared to just one-third of people without a canine companion.
According to Animals Australia, more than 80 per cent of Australian households have owned a pet at some stage. And while the number of dumped and abandoned animals is decreasing, there are still many shelter animals in need of a home, with thousands of animals offered up for adoption each year.
There are currently thousands of animals up for adoption around the country. Over the last 10 years, the RSPCA has adopted out and reunited more than 600,000 cats and dogs.
Siebert is hoping his Rescue Your Fitness program will encourage more people to adopt animals from shelters.
"Rescue Your Fitness allows you to help animals in need of a little love by walking or running an unfortunate dog trapped inside the pound," he said.
"With a little 'work' sharing these stories on social media and through the client base of my personal training business, [we are] able to help in finding their forever homes."