City Pairs Overweight Dogs with Overweight Humans (for walks) 

click to enlarge Leash on life: Wide Clyde, who tips the scales at 70 pounds, is both inspiration and beneficiary of the Richmond Animal Care and Control’s new exercise program. - SCOTT ELMQUIST
  • Scott Elmquist
  • Leash on life: Wide Clyde, who tips the scales at 70 pounds, is both inspiration and beneficiary of the Richmond Animal Care and Control’s new exercise program.

Dogs in Richmond’s animal shelter need exercise. So do desk-bound city employees.

Christie Peters, director of Richmond Animal Care and Control, wondered: Why not pair one with the other? WIth that, Richmond’s newest employee wellness program was born.

“We have this dog in the shelter named Wide Clyde and his name fits,” Peters says of the dog who’s 20 pounds overweight. “And he was sort of the inspiration — we were just trying to think of creative new ideas to get people into the shelter.”

The program, called Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound, opened to the public last week. It’s a win-win, Peters says: Animals get walks and city employees and dog lovers can work regular physical activity into their routines. Shelter staff has devised routes as long as two miles for those who want to keep track of how far they and Fido walk.

The city’s human resources department is folding Peters’ idea into an ongoing employee health program, with 20 people signed up so far. Jennifer Swinson, a 29-year veteran of the city’s Human Services Department, is among them.

Swinson says she walked a medium-sized, curly haired mutt named Roscoe for the first time last week. A former pet owner, Swinson says adding a dog into the mix makes exercising more fun: “Time really goes fast when you’re out with an animal.”

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

  • Re: Mr. and Mrs. Loving

    • Simply beautiful. its sad that Mr. Loving was killed. I'm very thankful for this couple…

    • on January 18, 2017
  • Re: Elusive Antidote: a Survival Story in the Fight Against Virginia's Opioid Epidemic

    • Thank you for sharing your story so publicly Loren, I'm sure that took a lot…

    • on January 18, 2017
  • Re: The Visitors

    • This woman is too focused on money. The only thing good that came from her…

    • on January 18, 2017
  • More »
  • Latest in News and Features

    More by Ned Oliver

    • Auto Spying

      Virginia lawmakers are fighting against the use of license-plate scanners by police. But what about the people privately watching your whereabouts?
      • Apr 28, 2015
    • City Explores Tax on Richmond Airbnb Rentals

      • Apr 21, 2015
    • Flash Forward

      Richmond is getting a $54 million, high-speed bus line right down Broad Street. But do we need it? Here are the answers to seven questions you might be asking.
      • Apr 21, 2015
    • More »

    Copyright © 2017 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation