SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Santa Barbara County District Attorneys' Office employees will have the opportunity to exercise with a friend thanks to a new partnership with the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society.
The 'DA Dogs' program pairs well-mannered, adoptable dogs with employees at the DA's office who want to walk or run with the dogs during their lunch break.
The attorneys and staffers at the DA's office in Santa Maria will run, walk and play with the dogs before they are returned to the shelter where they are available for adoption.
The first-of-its-kind program encourages people and pets to exercise together while promoting pet adoption.
The district attorney's office has many animal lovers and Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley said she wanted to do something to encourage the adoption of homeless pets.
Each running partner pup wears a vest with the words "Adopt Me" printed prominently for all to see.
Shelter officials say the new experiences help the dogs become more comfortable outside of the shelter which helps them better acclimate with their new homes once adopted.
The high energy employees at the DA's office offer a service that allows dogs to get exercise that they might not always get due to limited staff at the shelter.
The Santa Maria Valley Humane Society said that additional programs are in the works with the DA's office and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.
All of the animals who participate in the 'DA Dogs' program are available for adoption at the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society at 1687 West Stowell Road. Adoptable pets can be viewed online.