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Detroit shelter's dog-venture program on quest to find animals loving homes

Dog-venture program at Detroit animal shelter
Dog-venture program at Detroit animal shelter 03:49

(CBS DETROIT) – Regularly, Detroit Animal Care and Control is well over capacity.

There are nearly 100 dogs in the shelter at all times, and upwards of 20 animals are brought in from the streets on any given day.

It's an unfortunate reality, but one Tamra Talmadge-Anderson is committed to change.

One of the many animals up for adoption at Detroit Animal Care and Control. CBS Detroit

"The city needs help, the dogs need help, the volunteers are incredibly committed. There are so many people in our volunteer capacity who are just so excited to be a part of this," said Talmadge-Anderson, a volunteer board member with Friends of Detroit Animal Care and Control.

Friends of Detroit Animal Care and Control is a nonprofit that supports the shelter by educating the community and holding adoption events.

"To see people connect with the amazing dogs in the shelter and adopt them and have them become their loved ones is really rewarding," Talmadge-Anderson said. 

In 2019, the organization started "Detroit Dog-Ventures," a program where volunteers can stop by the shelter 7 days a week and give dogs a chance to see life outside the shelter.

The "Detroit Dog-Venture" program allows volunteers to take dogs at Detroit Animal Care and Control out into the community for exposure in hopes of getting the animal adopted. CBS Detroit

"It's rewarding for you, it's really rewarding for the dogs. We've had over 30 people sign up just last month," said Talmadge-Anderson.

The goal of this program is to take these pups in public for some extra exposure to find them forever homes.

Last year, Cydney Hall became a devoted dog-venture volunteer.

"I did it with the two girls I nanny, and we just fell in love, and we just kept coming back," said Hall.

On each outing, volunteers are given toys, treats, and maps of places to go, along with a harness and leash that say "adopt me" so the shelter dogs stand out.

Pictured is Cali, one of the many dogs at Detroit Animal Care and Control that took part in a Detroit Dog-Venture. Cali was adopted shortly after her dog-venture experience. CBS Detroit

It's also a chance for volunteers to learn special qualities or behaviors dogs may have.

"You may discover this dog knows how to sit, or this dog really loves kids, or this dog takes treats super well, and all of that information is information that can help us get a dog adopted," said Talmadge-Anderson.

Social interaction plays a major role, too, as those moments could mean the difference between dogs spending the rest of their life in a shelter or the beginning of a new chapter with a loving family.

"We have seen dogs get adopted that day after a dog-venture," Talmadge-Anderson said. 

"It's been really rewarding because a lot of the dogs that I've been taking have ended up getting adopted by people we've met or adopted shortly after because they just get so much out of it," said Hall.

Detroit Animal Care and Control is located at 7401 Chrysler Drive in Detroit. CBS Detroit

It's a program that provides a heartwarming experience with an impact even greater.

"If you love dogs and are looking for something different to do and want to give back to the community and the city of Detroit, a Detroit Dog-Venture is really a great option. You get to make a difference in a dog's life for the day and possibly for the rest of its life," said Talmadge-Anderson.

Detroit Animal Care and Control is always in need of donations and volunteers.

If you would like to participate in a Detroit-Dog Venture, here is some more information about the program:

  • Must be 18 years and older with a valid ID to participate.
  • The program is offered seven days a week, all year long.
  • There are two ways to participate: sign up for a specific date and time or show up at the shelter between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., with all return times being 3:00 p.m. Detroit Dog-Ventures all start and end at Detroit Animal Care and Control located at 7401 Chrysler Drive in Detroit.
  • There is no cost to do a Detroit Dog-Venture.
  • For people interested in donating to Friends of Detroit Animal Care and Control, monetary donations can be made online or on Venmo. These donations help the organization provide medical care for dogs, offer pet ownership classes, and adoption events, and promote available shelter dogs for adoption.
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