Virginia police department takes shelter dogs into community to find homes

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The Williamsburg Police Department has some new furry faces hanging around.

It’s all part of their canine for a day program, an effort to get shelter dogs forever homes.

The program was mimicked from another police department outside of the state.

Officials say it’s proven to be a big success.

9-year-old pitbull mix, CJ, has been at the Heritage Humane Society since November.

Most days he watches as prospective families pass him by, but today he’s got someone that’s been waiting to meet him.

CJ is going on a trip, and his road dog is Williamsburg senior police officer, Aundrea Holiday.

“She comes in first thing in the morning and she picks up one of our adoptable dogs and they get the entire morning to go out and really explore Williamsburg," said Jennifer LaFountain, a volunteer and community engagement manager with the Heritage Humane Society.

It’s all a part of the canine for a day program, through a partnership with the shelter and police department.

The goal is to get a shelter dog exposed out in the community so it has a better chance at finding a forever home.

“All of the adoptable pets that she has taken out in 2019 have been adopted out," said LaFountain.

CJ’s first stop was a nice stroll down downtown Williamsburg.

“They get their energy out, they get their zoomies out and just have a great time," said Holiday.

Then it was time buckle-up again and make some new friends at city hall.

Holiday says it’s not only rewarding for the pup, but also those they meet along the way.

“You should see people’s faces they get a big smile on their face as soon as you see them so it kind of makes other people’s day too," said Holiday.

Then they hit other places, like the police department, and local businesses.

To top it all off, each dog gets to chow down on a cheeseburger.

“I just think it’s amazing they can experience what every dog should experience you know, a home with a family that loves them and they’re going to be taken care of for the rest of their life,” said Holiday.