Cross country students with shelter dogs
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School collaborates with shelter by having students run with dogs (video)

By Greta Inglis Dog Behaviourist | Animal Behaviourist

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While other students were busy studying, this cross country team decided to try something different. Their video has captured the hearts of thousands. 

A collaboration between a high school in California and their local animal shelter has become far more successful than anyone could have anticipated, with people around the world moved by the event. 

The perfect match

When St. Joseph High School in Santa Maria first put the idea to Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter staff immediately accepted the offer. With many dogs desperate for exercise and a cross country team ready to run, it seemed like the perfect match. 

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"I'm not sure who was more excited, the children or the dogs", explained Coach Luis Escobar on his Facebook page. 

A viral video 

"It's a win-win situation", the coach goes on to write. "The dogs get exercise and the children learn how to deal with the dogs. Maybe they'll tell their family and friends and that will increase a dog's chance of getting adopted". 

The video captures the happiness of the participants perfectly, with dogs of all shapes and sizes accompanying the runners. 

All of them, that is, except for one little pup who clearly had very different ideas about his walk. "What happened Josh", asks Coach Escobar, as the student is seen carrying the dog. "He doesn't want to run anymore", explains Josh, smiling down at his relaxed four-legged friend. 

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