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Hiking with Hounds program takes Cochrane foster dogs to the trails

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Dozens of foster dogs have been enjoying some of Alberta's most scenic walks thanks to a program from the Cochrane & Area Humane Society. 

The Hiking With Hounds program sees volunteers take a group of pooches out every Monday.

Organizer Christine Newman, says it's a great way for the animals to blow off some steam and have some "fun in the sun."

"It's a blast, but it's also a way to recognize behaviours you wouldn't see in the shelter," Newman said. "When (we're done hiking), we report back to the adoptions staff and let them know any sort of characteristics, anything they need to be aware of, anything that's going to help the dogs get adopted."

So far, the program has been a huge success. 

More and more volunteers have shown interest as of late, and even some foster pup parents are joining the fun. 

Newman tries to pair the hikers with a similarly energized animal. 

"We're always looking for some back-end hikers that can take some of the slower dogs out, and of course we love the adventurous hikers too to get some of the huskies and bigger dogs out on some really long hikes," she said. 

Volunteer Kendall McCrea calls the excursions a weekly highlight. 

"It's just so nice to see the dogs outside of the shelter environment and enjoying the outdoors," she told CTV News.

"I get exercise and they get exercise, so I feel like it's the best of both worlds."

To learn more about the program, or about some of the adoptees available, visit the Cochrane & Area Humane Society's website.

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