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Can Pokemon Go be your Dogs Best Friend?

How the latest app craze goes to the dogs

We’ve seen it everywhere, and we have to catch them all! Pokemon Go, the augemented reality game, introduced July 6 of last year, has brought going viral to a whole different level. Since it’s introduction, it quickly became the most active mobile game in the US with over 21 million active users.

Perhaps one of the most attractive things about Pokemon Go is that it does require users to venture out beyond the couch to capture Pokemon out in the world. Features on the users app include a number of Poke’Stops and Pokemon gyms, which are typically  located at places of interest (Such as the Capital Building in Austin, TX, the Arch in St. Louis, and Battery Park in NYC), full of other non-players with the ability to photograph or video these battles for their own amusement.

Naturally, non-gamers have some mixed reactions to the additional people are starting to visit the outdoors on these quests for Pokemon. Businesses have taken to putting signs outside their storefronts banning Pokemon players from entering and playing the game. Residents have used various methods ranging from water balloons to dog poop to keep players off their property. But others are seeing this as an opportunity; animal shelters and other app developers in particular.

Many shelters have been inspired by the app to try something new to get animals adopted. Shelters in Muncie, IN., Burlington, AB., San Francisco, CA., Columbus, GA., and Tulsa, OK., have all started campaigns on Facebook for Pokemon Trainers to check out dogs for a day or just a few hours, while they go out and hunt the digital critters.

Of course, there are some rules that come with taking the pup for the day. You have to have a valid ID, you have to bring the pooch back before the shelter closes for the day, many shelters do require the dog to wear a yellow “Adopt me” harness, and, as always, you have to make sure the pup is safe and happy while in your possession.

Many shelters have reported this increase in volunteers has been a welcome sigh of relief, as they experience crowding in the summertime. It allows shelter pups an opportunity to be out in the world, getting accustomed to people and interacting with other dogs, gives them lots of exercises, and shows they are readily available for adoption. Some shelters have reported many pups have found their fur-ever homes.

Other dog owners have noted that the Pokemon Go has helped encourage them to take their pups on MORE walks. For those who don’t want to adopt or volunteer to walk shelter dogs while they use the app., there are other ways they can benefit other dogs

The phenomenon has many users firing up their phones and taking their dog past 4-5-6 stops at a time, logging in a prolonged amount of miles and travel for their pooch.

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