There's another way.
As Cleveland Animal Control works with Cleveland For A No Kill City toward implementing programs to stop the killing of healthy, adoptable dogs and cats, Cleveland Animal Control Director Gene Smith is putting out a call for volunteers to help dogs at the shelter get some exercise and socialization.
Last summer, Cleveland City Council implemented a mandatory hold time of 72 hours for owner surrendered pets. There is already a five-day hold time for stray pets.
Cleveland Animal Control is currently holding animals for even longer than the mandatory hold times, whenever possible, to help all pets get the greatest chance of being adopted. Some pets are even being held for up to a month, if space allows, so that Cleveland for A No Kill City has more time to network and find rescues and adopters.
Smith sees a problem with holding pets for so long. The dogs are confined to their kennel space 24 hours a day, seven days a week during their time at the shelter.
"If we could get volunteers to walk some of the dogs who have been here longest, it would help the pet's emotional and mental stability," Smith said. "These volunteers would help us go further toward reaching our no kill mission."
The program for those walking dogs is a city volunteer program, and not part of Cleveland For A No Kill City.
Volunteers who wished to participate should visit Cleveland Animal Control for a volunteer packet.
The shelter is located at 360 Hill Street SE in Cleveland. Shelter hours are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to noon.
Cleveland for A No Kill City is an activist group made up of Bradley County residents who worked to reduce the kill rate at Cleveland Animal Control to less than 10 percent in 2012. The group's current mission is to maintain a no kill status and continue to reduce the kill rate.
The group is organized to have a team of photographers visit animal control each day and take photos of each dog and cat. These photos are then shared through social media in an effort to facilitate adoption or rescue.
The group has also organized to have a volunteer coordinator available each evening to answer phone calls, emails, and monitor Facebook and Twitter.
Cleveland Animal Control has agreed to honor a "no kill" nightly fax provided that the group adopts or takes into rescue the animals that are listed on the fax the next day.