The Pokémon Dogs program has become so popular, the shelter had to buy more leashes
Credit: Getty

Pokémon Go isn’t just for collecting fictional monsters. An animal shelter in Indiana is using the popular app to collect dog walkers.

According to ABC News, the Muncie Animal Shelter in Muncie, Indiana, is attracting Pokémon Go players with a program call ed “Pokémon Dogs” on Tuesday mornings. The volunteer program promises app users a chance to get their steps in, catch Pokémon and hatch virtual eggs, all while helping an adorable, adoptable dog.

Shelter director, Phil Peckinpaugh, thought of the idea after watching his daughter and niece play Pokémon Go at home.

“I started playing with Ruthie, and it was actually pretty fun,” he told ABC. “Then the other day, while on my way to work, I noticed droves of young people walking around playing this game. I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if all those people were walking with our dogs?’”

So Peckinpaugh created a flyer for his Pokémon brainchild and posted it to the shelter’s Facebook page, where the ad quickly earned over 15,000 shares. And those numbers are translating into real life help, with dozens of people showing up at the shelter to volunteer.

“There’s been an incredible response, and it’s just kind of taken off,” he said. “We even had to go and buy more leashes this morning.”

With 75 adoptable dog looking for attention, the shelter is still welcoming walkers.

Volunteers need to be 15 years of age or older; dog lovers under 15 are welcome to volunteer with a parent. Before strutting a pup and catching Pokémon, volunteers need to present a valid form of ID at the front desk and fill out some paper work.