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


Celebrating Miles and Mutts

As the seasons change, Miles and Mutts has moved from spring to summer to fall.  Soon, it will be winter and we’ll all be bundled up as we hit the trail with our four legged freinds.  As the year will soon be coming to and end, the first year of Miles and Mutts will be wrapping up.  We’ll still be running but as we head into the holidays, the running pack has something to say.

Thank you to everyone who has come out to run with a shelter dog so far.

Let’s make 2013 even more exciting.




Countdown to Peace-4-Paws 5K

On Saturday, September 22nd, Better Days Animal League will be holding their 2nd annual Peace-4-Paws 5K.  This is a unique 5K since it is pet-friendly, both the run and the walk.  There is something for everyone!  All proceeds benefit the animals of Better Days.

Peace-4-Paws is where Miles and Mutts all began.  Last year, I ran the 5K with one of my own dogs, Hannah.  I was more excited for that race than any other of the year.  5Ks are not usually my cup of tea – give me a long and slow race any day over a short 5K.  At the time, Hannah was the newest addition to our family and from the beginning she needed plenty of exercise.  She’s a highly active dog who needs to release energy and I’ve run with her from day one.  The more I ran with her, the more rewarding it became.  She was the first one that seemed to truly need it, not just go along with me.

Pet-friendly events are few and far between.  I’ll support and participate practically any event that supports a worthy animal welfare cause but throw in pet-friendly and I’m guaranteed to be there.

The 5K itself was one of my slowest (turns out Hannah isn’t quite as well behaved when in a group of people and not in the lead) but still one of the most enjoyable.  Having a dog at the end of a leash beside me is the most fulfilling kind of running.  Making a connection with a dog while they are ‘working’ at running cannot be explained, only experienced.  Just like humans, dogs can experience the runner’s high.  That’s what Miles and Mutts is all about.  Release the stress and get the endorphins flowing – both human and canine.

After the Peace-4-Paws 5K last year, I was able to get involved with Better Days Animal League and eventually pitch the idea to get some of the dogs out for a run.  With strong support from another volunteer and 5K organizer, Amy, the program slowly started to take off.

This year, it will fun to participate with more of the dogs from Better Days Animal League.   I’ll run with Hannah again while several others will be running with adoptable shelter dogs.  Some may even win some titles.  In fact, I’m placing my bets on these two:

In the end, I hope more people will see how rewarding running with a shelter dog can be and will consider joining the pack for a run.  Registration is still open for the 5K.  Please consider signing up if you can make it.  For those not local, consider making a donation directly to Better Days Animal League.

Triple Digits

A little program is starting to grow.

Last weekend, the scheduled Miles and Mutts run broke into the triple digits.

The dogs from Better Days Animal League have collectively run more than 100 miles side by side with some wonderful volunteer friends.  The miles are logged here.

Ally was one of the dogs who enjoyed a few miles:

Not too shabby for a new program and a bunch of mutts.

I wonder how many miles the dogs and volunteers can get to before the Peace-4-Paws 5K on 09/22/2012?