One of a Kind Pets connects dogs who want to run with runners who love dogs
by Krissy O’Connor
Now that winter is behind us and summer is heading into full bloom, the parks and roadways are filled with runners. If you happen to be around West Akron on a Friday evening you might see a group of runners running alongside a hodge-podge mixed pack of dogs. The Running Dog Runners are a group of athletes who just so happen to love dogs.
The group was started last year by Beverly Dillon who was thinking about starting a dog running service professionally and was looking to gain handling experience. She turned to One of A Kind Pet Rescue to volunteer. When she saw how much the rescue animals needed exercise, she realized her need for personal experience was about to come second to her desire for helping these dogs.
As we all may have learned from Cesar Milan, an exercised dog is more likely to be calm and maintain the focus needed for training. When a dog is taken for a run either on his own or with a pack, he gains not only well-needed exercise, but also life lessons needed to help find his forever home.
The RDR’s Facebook group page is filled with selfies and pictorials of these energetic volunteers and the dogs. Dillion requests volunteers to tell the good, the bad, and the ugly as it will only help the dog to become adoptable.
Folks interested in finding out more information or volunteering for this program are encouraged to join the Facebook group. Orientations are held monthly, and Dillon stresses that you don’t need to be a supreme athlete to participate.
Dillon hopes to be able to start similar programs with other local animal rescues and facilities in the future.
[Pictured above: Beverlydillon1.jpg: Beverly Dillon with Aries. Beverly says her idea of dog running began as a self-serving mission and ended up turning into a labor of love. Aries shows her appreciation of this love with her big, old, sloppy kisses. (PHOTO: Beverly Dillion)]
[Pictured above: Maggie Batizy with Max. “Knowing that you are getting a dog out of the shelter to get some exercise, fresh air and personal attention is so rewarding. I always leave happier than when I came in and in fact tend make it a point to go on a day when I’m in a less than stellar mood. Max has since been adopted but proved to be a true gentleman on his runs.” (PHOTO: Steven Brignon)]