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Shelter Dog Finds Salvation Running With High School Cross Country Team

Animal shelters do their best to provide the dogs in their care with as much love, exercise and enrichment as possible. Needless to say, it is a difficult feat.

Glen Hatchell is a dog trainer at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Recently, Hatchell became concerned for the emotional well-being of an energetic three-year-old pooch named Jasper.

Even extra play sessions with the other dogs weren’t enough to quell the exuberant pup’s need for speed, and his behavior was suffering.

Jasper was restless in his kennel and becoming too rough during play groups. Luckily, a shelter volunteer presented the perfect suggestion: he could join the local high school cross country team on their daily runs! Some of the boys from nearby Steinbrenner High School picked up Jasper from the shelter and took him along as they ran at a local park.

He was a perfect gentleman on his leash as he ran alongside the boys. Although he’d never run such long distances, Jasper completed a three-and-a-half mile dash the first day and sprinted for two-and-a-half miles on the second.

According to Hatchell, the pup even had energy to spare when he returned to the shelter! Without the additional exercise and attention lavished on him by the “Boss Cross” running team, who knows what would have become of an intelligent, high-energy dog like Jasper?

The boys even helped Jasper find his forever home – in fact, they became his forever home! This past weekend, two former captains of the Steinbrenner High School cross country track team officially adopted Jasper. The young men are now at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

It is the perfect placement for the peppy pup! Hatchell told The Dodo:

“He’s living in a house with all the runners in this school … so he’ll stay with the boys that he’s already come to know over the last few weeks.”


H/T to The Dodo

Featured Image via Facebook/Humane Society of Tampa Bay

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Written by Dina Fantegrossi
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