Do you want to Run with a Shelter Dog?

Across the country, there are various programs for people to run with shelter dogs.  Running, jogging, dogs, rescue, animal shelters.  If these are all interests to you, consider volunteering your time to take an adoptable shelter dog for a run.  If you’ve thought, “Hey, that’s a great idea, I’d love to run with a shelter dog” but do not know of a program in your area, check this list to see one exists near you.

Miles and Mutts has reached out of to several of these organizations to start a network so we can spread the word about our cause and mission to provide exercise to adoptable shelter dogs.  This post will serve as a resource to highlight those programs.  It will be a dynamic, evolving list so continue to check back.

Disclaimer:  Miles and Mutts has no affiliation with any of the programs or organizations listed below.  This is a resource only.  Please contact all organizations directly to learn more about the programs and the organizations they support.

Miles and MuttsMiles and Mutts Color

Miles and Mutts is a program to run with adoptable shelter dogs.  We run with the dogs to provide them vigorous exercise, socialization…and love.  Rescue. Run. Repeat.

Location:  Franklin County, PA

Rufftail Runners

RufftailTeam Spiridon’s RuffTail Runners is a program that encourages Austin’s running community and our four-legged friends living in shelters to help each other get out and get some exercise!  To date, RuffTail Runners has trained over 1,000 runners to help get all runnable dogs from Austin Pets Alive out for daily runs.

Location:  Austin, TX

Dogs on the Rundogs on the run

The primary mission of the  Dogs On The Run program is to connect runners from our community with homeless dogs as running partners and to provide ongoing support for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control Unit.

Location:  Charlotte, NC

Seattle Humane:  Jog A Dog Program seattle humane

Volunteers provide exercise to our more active adoption dogs by taking a dog on a 4 mile run. This is a very physical, sometimes dirty, all-season job and many of the dogs are large and untrained. Volunteers should be comfortable around active dogs of all sizes and breeds. Volunteers must be able to run 6.4k/4 miles and have dog handling experience. Shifts are 1.5 hours every morning and weekday afternoons.

Location:  Bellevue, WA

KC Dog Runnerskcdogrunners

KC Dog Runners, a dog running and walking business coordinates twice a month runs for area shelter dogs from Wayside Waifs.  Volunteers take dogs for about a 45 minute run.  For more information and schedules, check out their website and Facebook page.

Location:  Kansas City, MO

Pit Bull Socialization and Obedience Crew of Sacramento County Animal ShelterPBSOC

The primary focus of the Pit Bull Socialization and Obedience Crew of the Sacramento County Animal Shelter is to teach the dogs good leash manners and basic obedience skills.  The program has expanded to include running and biking with the dogs to provide them with necessary exercise.

Location: Sacramento, CA

PEAKFINDERS K9ers with The Barking Lot

This group is focused on exercising with your pooch. Every Saturday you can join other dog parents walk/run around the bay! To keep it interesting, each month we will find a 5K walk/run that is dog friendly so that you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy organized events. Don’t have a dog? The Barking Lot can supply an adoptable dog for your exercise pleasure!!

Location: San Diego, CA

SPCA RACE TeamRaceTeamAnneArundel

In March 2013, we began our SPCA Runner Assisted Canine Exercise (RACE) team. We now have a dedicated group of volunteers and runners that get together once a week (sometimes more in nice weather) to run our more energetic dogs in a nearby park. Our RACE team runners have been happier and adoption rates are up!

Location:  Anne Arundel County SPCA in Annapolis, MD.


The Ruff Dog Project

RUFF Dog Project: RUFFrunner Program

We are training for our new program! We found some volunteers that enjoy running and wanted to run with shelter dogs! So…we put it together! Two volunteers taking the lead in this program are Rebekah Hintzman(RUFF Academy Lead Trainer) and Abby Yinko(Running Captain)!

Location:  Sheboygan, WI/Sheboygan County Humane Society


The following organizations also list programs on their websites but were not available for contact when Miles and Mutts reached out to them.

Washington Humane Society:  PACK (People and Animal Cardio Klub), Washington, DC

Richmond SPCA Running Buddies, Richmond, VA

The Monster Milers, Philadelphia, PA

Seattle Animal Shelter, Get Fit with Fido, Seattle, WA

Tulsa SPCA, Tulsa, OK

Bloomington, IN 

Atlanta Humane – Atlanta, GA

Tucson Ruff Runners – Tucson, AZ

St. Louis – Running Buddies – St. Louis, MO

Animal Rescue League of Iowa Running Club – Des Moines, IA – FB Group

Jefferson SPCA Rescue Runners – New Orleans, LA

Paw Partners – SICSA – Kettering, OH

Delco Dog Trotters – Delaware County SPCA – Media, PA

The following programs are no longer active but retained here for informational purposes only:

Ruff Ruff Rescue Runners ruffruff

We are a volunteer group connecting shelter dogs with runners to give the dogs a break from shelter life and helping them become more adoptable dogs!

Location:  Phoenix, AZ



Central Florida Rescue Runners:


Rescue Runners is a running group that meets bi-monthly in Central Florida to run and exercise the adoptable dogs of Pet Rescue by Judy.


Henry County Rescue RunnersHenryCountyRescueRunners

Henry County Rescue Runners (Tennessee) is a group of runners and walkers working with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office Animal Shelter. Our purpose is to get adoptable dogs out of the shelter for exercise and socialization, and to learn more about the dogs’ personalities outside of the shelter environment. Look for us at a park, trail, or race near you!

CNY SPCA Paws in Motion

Volunteer runners and walkers can stop by the shelter, check a dog out, and then follow either a half mile or mile loop behind the shelter.  Paws in Motion also organizes group outings periodically, such as to nearby Green Lakes State Park.  Their “Kennel to 5K” to encourages more regularity with our runners, but also to help motivate some walkers to transition to running the dogs!

Location:  CNY SPCA in Syracuse, NY


Do you know of an organization that has a running/jogging program for shelter dogs?  Leave a comment or e-mail to be included.

Please share this post so we can build our list of established programs!

Last update:  2/17/2015


36 thoughts on “Do you want to Run with a Shelter Dog?

  1. What a great list! Sadly none in my area, but I didn’t expect one. When my kids are old enough to either run with or stay home alone, I plan to look into starting something similar at a shelter in the next town over. Hopefully we’re still blog friends then so I can pick your brain!

  2. I own a dog running business in Sacramento, CA and I volunteer my time at our county shelter through the Pit Bull Socialization and Obedience Crew program. When I started the primary focus was teaching the dogs good leash manners and basic obedience skills. While that is still the main focus, the program has expanded to include running and biking with the dogs to provide them with necessary exercise. Anyone who is interested can visit their Facebook page:

  3. Richmond VA is about an hour from me. I will check this out. It won’t be a weekly thing, but at least once in a while! Thanks for sharing this list!! Oh and if you find something in Fredericksburg VA, let me know!!

  4. I love this!

    I have been running with shelter/rescue dogs as an individual in my area for about five years. However, I haven’t set up an official running program. I may think about getting something started, and your site will be a great resource. Thank you!

    • I have this one in the list. I e-mailed the program but did not hear back so it is listed in the general list. I will gladly update with a synopsis, logo, etc., but did not want to do so without permission. Thank you!

  5. This is an awesome program and I hope Berks County, PA – Reading area – might start something like this, too. I walk the shelter dogs at the Berks County Animal Rescue League but agree they need more than just a “walk.” With a pitbull of my own, I know most shelter dogs have lots and lots of energy. Thanks for such a great program and if you know anything in the Reading area, please let me know!

  6. I’m dying to start a program like this in my area. Any tips on how to get started?
    (Sorry if this posted twice. My WordPress is cranky today)

  7. If you are not already volunteering with an organization, that is the first step. A trusted, committed relationship is key to making it successful. If you already have a great relationship with an organization, I suggest coming up with a plan of how it could work in your area (where, when, how) and then pitching it to the directors or board. Hope this helps!

  8. We have a new dog walking club started in Cape Girardeau, MO. Unless I work Friday night, I and volunteers walk Silverwalk sanctuary dogs along with community dogs/owners as well as a supervising trainer. Am enjoying your site!

    The WordPress site doesn’t include our sanctuary: Silverwalk Hounds

    • It’s great that you are able to get the dogs out to walk. Right now, this list is dedicated to dog running/jogging programs but great work getting yours out!

  9. Pingback: Starfish | Miles & Mutts

  10. Love this….If you know of a shelter in the Long Beach, Ca area please let me know. I’ll ask around myself as well.

    • I haven’t heard of anything, but I encourage you to ask around, especially with some smaller rescue groups if none of the larger have something. Sometimes they are small groups of dedicated volunteers!

  11. Pingback: 4 Ways Shelters, Rescues, and Community Groups Are Getting it Right | Animal Farm Foundation

    • Not at this time but I encourage you to reach out to local shelters and rescues and there may be something available. If you find anything, I’ll gladly update the page so others can find the programs!

  12. I’d like to add the Anne Arundel County SPCA in Annapolis, MD. In March 2013, we began our SPCA Runner Assisted Canine Exercise (RACE) team. We now have a dedicated group of volunteers and runners that get together once a week (sometimes more in nice weather) to run our more energetic dogs in a nearby park. Our RACE team runners have been happier and adoption rates are up! Check us out on Facebook at

    • I have not heard of any in NYC but that certainly doesn’t mean that aren’t any similar programs. I would encourage you to check into volunteer opportunities with local organizations and rescues and see if you are able to find any groups…and if you do, please report back so we can keep expanding this list!!

  13. Pingback: Running Shelter Dogs Motivates Volunteer to Run a Marathon | blog for outdoor dogs

  14. Pingback: The Best Running Buddy (A Guide to Running with Your Dog) | quietlysimplemusings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s