Canicross is an essential part of rehabilitating dogs for the non-profit organization 2 Save Me. They rescue abused cats and dogs and finds them new forever homes.
- Like humans, dogs need to be active to live a long and healthy life. Running stimulates them both physically and mentally. It helps reduce stress, anxiety and brings happiness into their lives. Running together also strengthens their trust and bond with humans, says founder Elin Herlofsen.
She started the organization in her own home in 2018. Now, 2 Save Me has a center in Sandnes, Norway, with 250 visitors every week. Everyone is welcome to meet the animals at the center and learn how to take care of a cat or a dog before potentially adopting one. You can even borrow a dog for hiking or other activities!
- We have 150 volunteers altogether. We have a canicross group that meets twice a week to run with our dogs. It is also possible to run with your own dog. Everyone is welcome, says Elin.
It all started with Hugo, a three-year-old border collie. He has way too much energy to fit in a regular family.
- When Hugo arrived at the center, he was not trained at all. He had a hard time staying focused, even when doing nosework. We started hiking with him, which helped drain some of his energy and build muscles, but we still could not challenge him mentally.
After rehoming another border collie to a marathon runner, Elin asked if he could take Hugo running too. Since that, they have run together almost every day for months.
- Hugo became a different dog.
Based on donations
Elin's vision is to improve animal welfare and raise the standard of how we treat them.
- Each animal has different needs. Our goal is to provide them with what they need and give them the love they deserve.
The organization is based on donations. Non-stop dogwear donate harnesses and other equipment to 2 Save Me to help facilitate an active lifestyle.
- The number of dogs and volunteers grows every year, so that is something we highly appreciate. Being active together doesn't just help dogs. It also gives purpose to us humans, Elin says.