Minneapolis Animal Care and Control just launched a new year-round program that allows people to check out an adoptable dog from the shelter for the day and take them on an adventure, like a trip to a dog park or a visit to a dog-friendly brewery.

The Fido Field Trip Program aims to reduce kennel stress in dogs at the shelter in the Near North neighborhood and ultimately increase their chances of being successfully adopted into forever homes.

The program is a win-win for both dogs and humans. The dogs get to spend time outside of the shelter for an extended period, thus exposing themselves to potential adopters, while the humans get to enjoy the companionship of a dog without having to make a lifelong commitment to caring for them.

“It makes a big difference in the dog's life, and if you're a dog lover, it makes a difference in your day, too,” MACC volunteer Megan McDonald said Tuesday during a press conference marking the program’s launch. She added that it’s a great opportunity for someone who wants a dog but can’t have one due to someone in their home having allergies.

Participants of the program can gain valuable insights into a dog’s personality and behavior, like whether they are good with children, and relay them back to MACC. The facility can then use that information to help find the dog a suitable home.

Billy Banshee is a 1-year-old pit bull mix who’s available for adoption and eligible for the new MACC program. Photo by Brianna Kelly

Anyone who’s over the age of 18 is eligible to participate, even if they’re not looking to adopt a dog right now. All you have to do is fill out an application, complete a 15-minute virtual training, and book a date for the field trip.

Two dogs per day are available for field trips every Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Participants can keep dogs overnight if they let MACC know that’s what they want to do by 3 p.m.

The program comes at a critical time for the shelter since its population is typically higher in the summer.

MACC’s most recent clear the shelter event in mid-May led to the adoptions of 33 dogs and cats, according to director Tony Schendel.

The MACC shelter is located at 212 17th Ave. N, where it’s open Monday through Friday from 1-6 p.m., and open an hour later on Thursdays.

Learn about other ways to support MACC and its shelter animals here.