SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – It’s giving shelter dogs a break from the cage and a better chance of finding a forever home.

The Front Street Animal Shelter in Sacramento is teaming up with a doggie day care to help make the dogs more adoptable.

Robert Espinosa and Ginger have become fast friends.

“She’s been doing well in the playgroup. She’s very social. She’s got some great training,” said Espinosa.

Espinoza, owner of Grateful Dog, a doggy day care in Sacramento, has always wanted to contribute back to the community.

“She likes to run and chase, and wrestle like most young dogs,” said Espinosa.

His plan is to bring shelter dogs to Grateful Dog.

It’s a chance for dogs like Ginger to get a break from what sometimes can be a stressful environment at the shelter.

“He will take a dog, that meets his criteria, to his day spa for dogs, let them work in playgroups, socialize, increasing their adoptability,” said Gina Knepp, shelter manager.

That’s the goal.

“Incredible dog, incredible business owner, amazing idea,” said Knepp.

Having more dogs adopted out is a good possibility with the help of Espinosa.

“It’s a brilliant idea. I don’t know if it’s ever been done in Sacramento before. We love trying new things,” said Knepp.

For now, this pilot program is off to a good start.

“People know they have come to a social environment. They have done well, and they can adopt that dog, feeling more reassured that it’s a good choice and a good fit for their family,” said Espinosa.

And, dogs like Ginger, who have been homeless for three months, the time spent at Grateful Dog could really pull them out of the pack.

“When someone comes into the shelter on Front Street, they can see this dog has been to day care and does well with other dogs,” said Espinosa.

The hard part for Espinosa is letting them go back.

“If I didn’t already have three dogs, I would take her in a minute,” said Espinosa.

Espinosa says he expects lots of calls and emails about Ginger.

As an incentive, Grateful Dog is offering a $200 gift card to the person or family that takes home dogs like Ginger.


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