Innovations That Matter

Pokemon catchers make good dog walkers

Sport & Fitness

In Indiana, Muncie Animal Shelter matches Pokemon Go players with dogs in need of exercise.

Canicross is a newly popular sport in which runners attach themselves to dogs at the waist and jog cross-country to keep fit. Animal shelters across the UK have capitalized on the trend, offering their hounds as Canicross companions. Now Muncie Animal Shelter in Indiana is coopting Pokemon Go players to walk their canine residents.

For those who haven’t yet encountered it, Pokemon Go is the latest craze in gaming. It encourages users to be active and outdoors by setting them the challenge of hunting, capturing and training Pokemon in the so-called ‘wild’. After its launch on July 6th, it became one of the most used apps in the world, overtaking even Twitter and Tinder. Director of the Muncie Animal Shelter, Phil Peckinpaugh, noticed the rise in people walking as a result of the game, put two and two together, and invited gamers down to the shelter to collect a dog. His post on the shelter’s Facebook page which read, “Trying to hatch an egg or catch rare Pokemon? 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!” went viral almost immediately with nearly 30,000 shares to date.


We’ve seen platforms enable customers to play remotely with shelter animals, providing entertainment for both the user and the pet. What other public services can make the most of gamers trying to walk ’em all?



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