An animal shelter is asking Pokémon Go players to walk an adoptable dog as they wander the streets doing battle with digital monsters on their smartphones.
The idea is the brainchild of Phil Peckinpaugh, superintendent of Muncie Animal Shelter, in the US state of Indiana. He noticed people shuffling along as they played the addictive game and thought “it would be awesome” if they each had a dog to walk.
Peckinpaugh posted the idea on Facebook, asking: “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! Just come to the front desk and say you are here for the Pokémon dogs!” His post was widely shared.
“This is a great way to get more volunteers in and help [the dogs] get the exercise that they need,” said Adrienne West, who drove 45 minutes to walk a three-year-old pit bull named Maya as she tried to catch a Weedle.
“I hope this Pokémon Go isn’t something that lasts a couple weeks,” Peckinpaugh said. “I hope the shelter becomes a hot spot.”
He bought 20 new leashes to cope with the increase in demand, which is lucky, because 73 players turned up on Wednesday to exercise pooches. One even adopted a dog.