- Associated Press - Thursday, July 21, 2016

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - An animal shelter in Juneau is calling on players of the smartphone game Pokemon Go to stop by and take a dog with them on their hunt for creatures around the city.

Gastineau Humane Society employees say it’s a good way for people to collect Pokemon while allowing the dogs to get exercise.

“Not only do you get to walk around and hatch your Pokemon Eggs and look for all these Pokemon, the dog gets to go with you and get a nice walk,” GHS volunteer coordinator Kendra Bolin said told The Juneau Empire on Wednesday (https://bit.ly/29N2zmU).

The shelter put out a call for volunteer Pokemon Go dog walkers in a Facebook post last week, which turned out to be “our highest viewed post ever,” said the deputy director of the shelter, Samantha Blankenship.

“It’s a way to promote people just coming to the shelter and maybe seeing an animal that they wouldn’t necessarily think about,” Blankenship said.

Despite the response on social media, Blankenship said the shelter has yet to see any Pokemon Go players come in to walk a dog.

The six dogs that are up for adoption at the shelter are available for a walk Monday through Saturday. The outing can be a short walk near the shelter or people can venture out on a nearby trail.

For those concerned about safety, Bolin said there is a way to play the popular smartphone game and walk a dog while still being able to pay better attention to one’s surroundings.

“You can go into settings in Pokemon Go and hit battery saver, and when you turn your phone upside down, it blacks out the screen to save battery. Then, you can put it in your pocket and walk around and it will vibrate when there’s a Pokemon nearby,” Bolin said.

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Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, https://www.juneauempire.com

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