Some of your friends are probably walking around their neighborhoods hunting for Pokémon on their smartphones and no doubt more will follow. In this augmented reality app, Pokémon Go players search for virtual creatures in the real world through their phone’s camera and GPS. Given the game’s popularity, many rescues and shelters are offering avid players a chance to assist dogs in need while they catch Pokémon, and it’s easy to participate!
Here are five ways you can have your Pokémon fun and potentially ‘catch’ your next best friend.
The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) recently announced a clever program, “Gotta Adopt ‘Em All!” – a play on the Pokemon tagline “Gotta catch ‘em all!” – in an attempt to lure Pokémon players to the shelter. Adoption fees are waived until Sunday for all pets over one year in age. The shelter is also a Pokestop, where players can obtain modules to capture the adorable little monsters.
Take your dog on the hunt for Pikachu and use the Walk for a Dog Wooftrax app to help a shelter or rescue of your choice. For every walk, WoofTrax (parent organization of the app) makes a donation to the rescue of your choice.
Due to the growing number of app users, the Impact tab may take longer than usual to update, but rest assured that when a heart in the history screen appears, your walk has helped a pet in need. If your dog helps you find a Pokémon on your outing, be sure to share on social media to spread the word. (Thanks for the heads up, Mac the Pit Bull!)
This Indiana shelter posted a photo on its Facebook page requesting for those who are out searching for Pokémon to help real-life animals get exercise, too. “Trying to hatch an egg or catch rare Pokémon? Come down to the Muncie Animal Shelter to walk one of our dogs while you get your steps in!” its post reads. The only requirement: be responsible and put the animal first.
This Texas city’s hike and bike trail connects its animal shelter to the dog park, so why not search for Squirtle or hatch an egg with the help of a borrowed pooch? The dogs love to get out of their cages and, who knows, you may even fall in love with one of the adorable canines and bring her home.
If you happen to find a real-life animal in need on your walks, do the right thing and come to its rescue. While on their quest for Jigglypuff, Texas residents Kaitlin Kouts and Tiffany Revay found a puppy fighting for his life. The pup, who was lying on the ground near a tree, had a broken leg and was bleeding from his mouth. He is now at the Lone Star Veterinary Clinic receiving treatment, and he’s named Pokey, after the game that saved his life.
So the next time you play Pokémon Go, you may or may not call catch them all, but you can certainly make a difference for a dog. And isn’t that mighty rewarding?!