Each community is full of its own local heroes. Whether they are police officers, firefighters, doctors and nurses, and more, these people put their lives on the line and sacrifice their own comfort to ensure the health and safety of others.
As if their typical job description wasn’t enough community service, the Arlington County Fire Department in Arlington, Virginia sought out a way to serve their community further, and found the cutest solution.
“I was thinking of ways that we could do some community service … and figured that reaching out to the local animal shelter would be a really good idea,” commented Taylor Blunt, who is a firefighter and paramedic for the department.
The fire department reached out to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA) and pitched their idea. The team wanted to take any available dogs for a walk/run and a fun day in the fresh air.
Chelsea Lindsey, communications specialist at AWLA was beyond and excited and quickly agreed, saying, “Sure thing! Come on Over!”
Lindsey said sheoriginally thought it would only be one or two dogs, but when the gracious firefighters arrived, they ended up taking six dogs out for an adventure.
“It was so cute to see them all in a line — Chihuahua, husky, pit bull, Chihuahua mix, papillon, Staffordshire terrier — different kinds of dogs all in the big group together,” said Lindsey.
“We took them out for at least an hour, and took them out to the park. They could hang out together with us and smell the smells. We ran with them on sprints, and then they got so tired that they laid out on the grass. It was great,” Blunt shared.
Blunt talked about how the experience was “equally rewarding” for both the firefighters and the dogs. They all enjoyed a relaxing day in the park.
Lindsey shared that not only was it great for the dogs to get out and about, but it also helped people to see the dogs as normal, lovable house pets and not as “shelter dogs.”
This isn’t the first-time firefighters or any public servants have come alongside shelters to help out. The New Orleans Coast Guard recently began to foster homeless dogs at its station.
Blunt shared that the walks will hopefully become a regular routine for the department, and they look forward to more opportunities to serve the shelter.
“I know the shelter loves it because it gets the dogs outside, and it gets them all tired out,” Blunt said. “And obviously, it’s good for the dogs. It makes them happier, and they can get adopted more quickly with happier faces.”
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