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An Animal Shelter Wins The Pokemon Go Craze By Asking Players To Walk Dogs

Multitask while you catch them all—by giving dogs some companionship and exercise.

An Animal Shelter Wins The Pokemon Go Craze By Asking Players To Walk Dogs

[Photo: Markus Spiering/EyeEm/Getty Images]

At least one good thing has come out of the current Pokemon Go craze. Rescue dogs are getting walked at an animal shelter in Muncie, Indiana.

Last week, the Muncie Animal Shelter put out a flyer on Facebook, inviting Pokemon Go players to come down and take its dogs for a walk. "Trying to hatch and egg or catch rare Pokemon?" it asked. "Come down to the Muncie Animal Shelter to walk one of our dogs while you get your steps in."

Phil Pechingpaugh, director of the shelter, got the idea when he saw folks wandering around, stopping, and wandering off again while they stared at their phones, collecting Pokemon. "I just thought, wouldn’t it be great if we could pair these people who are already out walking with shelter dogs who need exercise and stimulation?" Pechingpaugh told Upworthy.

The idea has so far been a huge success. Pechingpaugh expected a handful of people to come down to the shelter for the Pokemon Dogs, but 70 people showed up. One woman drove two hours just to volunteer to walk a dog.

"There's been an incredible response, and it's just kind of taken off," he told ABC News. "We even had to go and buy more leashes."

But not everyone is happy. Rival shelters, says Pechingpaugh, have complained, albeit in a fairly lighthearted fashion. "We’ve had other shelters that have reached out and said, 'now we’re going to do this.’" he said.

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