You give your dog a treat every time the two of you go on a walk. Why not give the local animal shelter a treat, too?
That's the premise of Walk for a Dog, a smartphone app that donates money to an animal shelter of your choosing every time you walk your dog. According to Walk for a Dog's parent organization, WoofTrax, donations are funded via sponsorship deals and advertising, and generally vary from 11 to 25 cents per mile, depending on the number of people who have signed up to walk in benefit of a particular animal organization.
In an email to HuffPost, WoofTrax CEO Doug Hexter emphasized the number of people walking in support of an organization, and the number of walks they take, factors more into the donation amount than the distance they might walk.
"The miles are factored in, but not heavily," said Hexter, "as Walk for a Dog users are of all ages and abilities. A walk with your dog around the block or a 5-mile hike all count. We simply wanted to encourage people of all ages and abilities to get out there and walk their dog."
"It’s hard to get people to do something new," Hexter added to the San Francisco Chronicle of the app. "But millions of people are already walking their dogs every day. We simply wanted to encourage that activity and add more value to it."
In the six months since Walk for a Dog launched, Hexter told HuffPost that it has distributed $10,000 in donations across the nearly 4,000 animal shelters which have signed up. One of those shelters, Pennsylvania's Delaware County SPCA, told CBS Philadelphia they're excited about its potential.
"When a $10 check comes in, be it through an app or personal donation, it really means it’s going toward caring for the animals so we are able to help them until they find their forever homes," Delco SPCA spokeswoman Justina Calgiano told the station.