Archive for April 7th, 2015

Parks: Hikes with Homeless Dogs

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015
He's not heavy, he's my hiking partner...

He’s not heavy, he’s my hiking partner…

This is Passport to Texas

Every Thursday morning at nine, visitors to Davis Mountains State Park in west Texas meet for a guided hike…with homeless dogs.

10— We usually have more people than dogs. We usually give one dog to a family and then a third of the way through the walk we’ll stop and then we’ll switch the dogs to different people so everybody has a chance.

Ranger, Tara Poloskey, coordinates and guides the hikes with shelter dogs from the Grand Companions Humane Society in Fort Davis (; both hikers and dogs benefit.

17—The visitors need dogs to walk when they leave their dogs at home and they’re missing their dogs. And, also, the dogs at the shelter don’t get a lot of socialization and maybe they’ve had some pretty hard histories. They need to get out and get socialized and learn how to walk on leashes to make them more adoptable.

Tara Poloskey says the program is popular with Davis Mountains SP visitors.

14—Everyone is happy to see the dogs; visitors know they’re helping the dogs. And, I do talk some about the park while we’re walking, so it’s a good mix of interpretation and dog walks. And, for the dogs, it’s a wonderful way for them to socialize and get used to different people.

Sometimes hikers even adopt the dogs.

05— In fact, today we had two. A total of five, actually, over the course of a year, but today we had two.

Find details about hikes with homeless dogs in the calendar section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.