“Improving the lives of homeless animals and humans through fitness and physical activity”

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December 2013

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Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound, is a physical activity program for our four legged friends as well as the two legged members of our community. Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound addresses two major community challenges:

The growing rate of obesity in Indianapolis: Indiana has consistently ranked as one of the top heaviest states in the country. Indianapolis, itself, was ranked as the 16th fattest city in the country (25 Fattest Cities in the US; Men’s Fitness Magazine. 2007). In addition, only 15% of our community members met recommendations for both moderate and vigorous physical activity.

The excessive number of unwanted animals: In 2008, 14,470 unwanted cats and dogs were killed in Indianapolis which is approximately 40 animals per day.  Once in a shelter, an animal’s chance of leaving alive is around 50% (Community Assessment: Indianapolis Animal Welfare, April 2008)

Did you know?

  • Indiana and Indianapolis are both on the “top fattest” lists within the US. Based on the measurement of Body Mass Index (BMI), thirty five percent are overweight; twenty seven percent are obese (Center for Disease Control (CDC) BRFSS 2005)  .
  • Indiana is also on the list of “lowest” in terms of physical activity and fitness measurements. Only 15% met recommendations for both moderate and vigorous physical activity (CDC BRFSS 2005)
  • Adherence and compliance to traditional methods of “prescribed regular exercise” is low. The effect of dogs as exercise companions and their impact on compliance is receiving increasing interest as one solution. (Reference: CDC; Kushner, P-PET, 2006)
  • Shelters exist in both publicly and privately funded “kill and no kill arenas”. All of them, however, depend primarily on “volunteers” to provide any services beyond the minimally required care they receive. The only exercise that the animals receive, along with grooming needs and socialization, comes through volunteers.
  • Without regular exercise and socialization, shelter/ caged animals lose their “adoptability”.
  • Animals who are very adoptable and capable of being socialized are killed everyday in our shelters to accommodate the persistent influx of new “homeless” animals.
  • Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound is working to impact the growing rate of obesity and sedentary lifestyle by increasing physical activity through a creative and fun approach to physical fitness, eg., dog walking.
  • Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound is also working to address the “plight” of homeless animals and increase their adoptability through provision of exercise and socialization as well as increase community awareness of the issues related to animal welfare.
  • Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound a is 501C3