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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Dog Day Out: Humane Society lets volunteers adopt for the day

Dog+Day+Out+gives+dogs+the+chance+to+get+some+time+away+from+the+kennels+and+go+on+an+adventure+for+the+day.+Farley%2C+a+Doberman+Pinscher+mix%2C+plays+fetch+in+the+yard+at+Aggieland+Humane+Society+on+Wednesday%2C+March+7%2C+2024.
Karis Olson
Dog Day Out gives dogs the chance to get some time away from the kennels and go on an adventure for the day. Farley, a Doberman Pinscher mix, plays fetch in the yard at Aggieland Humane Society on Wednesday, March 7, 2024.

Man’s best friend needs attention too, and Aggieland Humane Society has one solution to give its shelter dogs the best life they can get. Its new program Dog Day Out allows anyone to sign a dog out for the day and spend time with them — and, as the Society hopes, increases the odds the dogs find a home.

Aggieland Humane Society, or AHS, is a nonprofit organization that fosters and rescues animals in the College Station area. Consisting primarily of dogs, it is entirely volunteer-led. 

Sofia Briones, a freshman at Blinn College, has volunteered at Aggieland Humane Society for the past five months and participated in Dog Day Out in early March. 

“I got a pitbull named Hazel,” Briones said. “It was great. She was so sweet and active. It was cool because we went from being strangers to having such [good] interactions together.” 

As animal health manager, Brittany Steele oversees animals in AHS’s care and their medical, behavioral and overall needs. She also identifies which dogs are eligible for Dog Day Out. Steele said the dogs have to be spayed or neutered and have been in AHS custody for at least three days to be eligible. 

Dog Day Out gives dogs the chance to get some time away from the kennels and go on an adventure for the day. Farley, a Doberman Pinscher mix, plays fetch in the yard at Aggieland Humane Society on Wednesday, March 7, 2024. (Karis Olson)

“It kind of depends on the dog,” Steele said. “There are some dogs that do not do well in the kennels. One of our dogs, Halle, cannot stand to be in the kennel, but she is perfect outside in the office or car and is an ideal candidate for the program. We try to get dogs like her that just need the right outlet to succeed.” 

Steele said volunteers can select the dog they want to adopt for the day. Pickup is typically 9 or 10 a.m., and participants return their dog around 4 p.m. If they like, volunteers can give the dogs a variety of community-provided experiences.

“We have some wonderful partners within our community,” Steele said. “Lucky Dog Wash offers free baths for anyone that brings that pet and mentions they are up for adoption, and they can even have photo ops. Sweet Eugene’s has a very dog-friendly porch so they could get a coffee.”

Starting her career as a Search & Rescue dog trainer and eventually becoming the volunteer coordinator at AHS, Nyssa Meyerdirk’s life revolves around serving animals. 

“I’ve devoted my last seven years at Aggieland Humane Society,” Meyerdirk said. “My favorite part is the education I provide our local volunteers and staff. I get to answer any and all questions people may have with our programs and animals.” 

The Dog Day Out program is fairly new, opening in January of this year. AHS wanted to incentivize people to adopt the dogs and give the dogs an outlet. Although she only experienced Dog Day Out once, Briones said she’s excited to continue volunteering for the program. 

“My favorite part is seeing their faces light up when you pick them up from the shelter,” Briones said. “You can tell how happy they are. They jump all over you and want to show you all their favorite things when you drop them off. It was bittersweet, but it was so special.” 

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