News & Story Ideas
Don’t have much time to volunteer, but want to help a local shelter? The Mutual Rescue™ Doggy Day Out Program is an easy way to help, taking dogs from local shelters on outings and field trips in the community. It requires minimal training and only a few hours each time. A Doggy Day Out adventure can be a hike, trip to a beach, nice dinner at a pet-friendly restaurant, or even a sleepover at the volunteer’s home. Dozens of shelters across the U.S. offer them, and it’s a way for people with busy schedules to engage with their local shelter and advocate for animals. It’s also a great excuse to get out and get some exercise or explore with a canine sidekick. One participant says, “A dog gets joy from sunshine and a car ride regardless of its past. Going out with these dogs teaches you to live in the moment.”
In “Doggy Day Out,” community volunteers take pets out of shelters for recreation and bonding, such as a hike, trip to a beach, or sleepover at home. These outings give stressed dogs a break from the confines of shelters and have helped to increase adoptions. “When people go out with an animal they have a bonding experience, and that person becomes an advocate to help get that animal adopted,” Mutual Rescue™ Founder Carol Novello says. “Not only are the participants loving it, it’s been a huge win for the shelters as well. The dogs return less stressed and get adopted more quickly.”
Many of us have personal stories of animals we have known and loved in our lives. Mutual Rescue™ has made it their mission to find and share the most powerful stories of human-animal friendship. Here are some of the ways the human/animal bond can heal and transform lives.
For everyone who has loved and lost an animal companion, Mutual Rescue™ has produced two tribute films imagining timeless messages from the spirits of a dog (“Still Yours”) and cat (“Silent Paws”). Through photography, poetry, and music from acclaimed artists, these tributes illustrate the enduring bonds between pets and people, and celebrate the power of love.
In times of tragedy, loss, or injury, the best friends to have around are often the ones who can listen quietly, without judgement, and relate to your struggles. More and more people are finding comfort, hope, and healing through the companionship of a rescue pet. The resilience and joy in animals can be a great source of inspiration for those going through difficult times.
From special needs dogs that inspire people after accidents to cats that help bring struggling families together, there’s a growing trend towards integrating animals into programs for those exposed to trauma, violence, and loss.
While everyone is familiar with the concept of seeing eye dogs, there are plenty more ways pets are helping people with physical challenges and disabilities every day. With their keen senses, empathy, and loyalty, animals aid and inspire us.
Approximately 3.2 million animals are adopted every year from shelters around the U.S. Within each adoption is a story of forgiveness, hope, and new beginnings. Rescued pets have so much to teach us, from how to move on from adversity to how to see the joy in every moment.
Even the CDC agrees: pets are good for you. Pets encourage people to be more active and help decrease stress. From lowering blood pressure to boosting your immune system, science shows us that adopting a four-legged friend isn’t just good for the animal, it’s also likely to make you healthier.
During recent charity events in Missouri, Colorado, California, and Hawaii, Mutual Rescue™ films have inspired audiences to support their local animal welfare organizations by volunteering, donating, adopting, and participating in Doggy Day Out adventures. Mutual Rescue’s founder, Carol Novello, notes another powerful benefit to communities: “These events are sparking action on the topics central to our films. For example, the event in Golden, Colorado convened a national panel of experts on mental health and the animal-human bond. Community leaders at the event were inspired to consider including rescue animals in social services for clients confronting depression, suicide, disabilities, homelessness, addiction, and other serious challenges.”