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MEDIA ADVISORY: MU Program Encourages People to Exercise, Helps Shelter Dogs

April 3rd, 2010

Story Contact: Kelsey Jackson, (573) 882-8353, JacksonKN@missouri.edu

WHAT: Make new friends (human and four-legged) and get some exercise while helping out local shelter dogs during this year’s Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound Program.  Participants in the program are matched by walking speed with a shelter dog from the Central Missouri Humane Society or Columbia Second Chance. The program encourages people to exercise while also providing attention to shelter dogs. Participants also have the opportunity to participate in a study of physical activity.

Rebecca Johnson, associate professor in the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing and the College of Veterinary Medicine and director of the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction (ReCHAI), has found evidence that people benefit when they walk dogs to lose weight and maintain active lifestyles

WHO:  The event is sponsored by the MU College of Veterinary Medicine ReCHAI, Columbia Parks and Recreation, Columbia Second Chance, Central Missouri Human Society, and the Department of Health and Senior Services.

WHERE: Central Missouri Humane Society, 616 Big Bear Blvd., Columbia, Mo.

WHEN: Walkers choose an hour to walk on Saturday mornings at 8, 9 or 10 a.m. Four-week sessions of the program started on April 3 and will continue through October. Participants can begin at anytime during the session.

 NOTE:  The participation fee is $10, which includes a t-shirt. Group rates are available. Proceeds go to the Central Missouri Humane Society.

Leashes and dog treats will be provided for the walks.

To register for a time to participate, call the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department at 573-874-7460 or log on to www.GoColumbiaMo.com. To register a group, call 573-874-6341. Walk-ups also are welcome.

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