Local shelter offers four legged running partners to help keep women safe

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The recent murders of three young women who were running alone has prompted a Richmond animal shelter to take action.

Richmond Animal Care and Control just launched a program that pairs runners with four-legged partners.

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“What a great way for someone to have a companion when they’re out running, jogging, exercising and a great way to get exercise for our animals,” explains the shelter’s Outreach Coordinator Robin Young.

RACC had planned to start the program this fall, but those recent deaths spurred it to speed things up.

There are studies that show dogs deter crime, so running with a pup could help protect you. “I mean I always feel safer when I’m with my dog,” says Young. “You know, it’s someone with you. It’s another being that’s with you. You feel safer.”

“I mean I always feel safer when I’m with my dog.” — Robin Young

At the very least, participants might make a new friend who puts a little pep in their exercise step. That wagging, workout buddy might even run their way into someone’s heart.

Adds Young, “if you like to jog with an animal, this could be a great way to find that perfect match. That match that’s just, you know, the perfect running mate for you. So of course we would love to see some forever homes come out of this as well.”

For more information on this program, email Robin Young.

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