Helping Homeless Dogs Find Homes By Connecting Them with People | Stella’s Ride

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ANIMAL INNOVATIONS SHOW - EPISODE 29 - STELLA'S RIDE

Helping Homeless Dogs Find Homes By Connecting Them with People | Stella’s Ride

It can’t be denied that life is better with a Fido around.
The unconditional love, constant entertainment, and devoted companionship that they give not only do wonders for your health; they also add meaning and purpose to your life.
But what about on the side of the dogs, particularly homeless dogs?
They are also capable of providing their potential caretakers with emotional and physical support. However, the sad reality is that there are still dogs that end up without a forever home.
There are even others that end up getting euthanized for the sole purpose of keeping the animal population under control.
This is what Jennifer Malone wants to help address through the company that she founded, called Stella’s Ride.

Creating Human-Animal Bonding Opportunities With Stella’s Ride

Helping Homeless Dogs Find Homes by Connecting Them With People | Stella’s Ride Jennifer shared,

For me, what I think is most meaningful about us is creating opportunities for the human-animal bond. There’s so much love that can take place in just 10 minutes of petting a dog. And it really can carry through all the rest of your day.”

An employee engagement tool, Stella’s Ride aims to connect businesses with rescues that need help finding a home.
It combines the concept of a doggie day out program and a team-building program for businesses looking to increase their employee engagement in innovative ways.
As for how the Stella’s Ride program works, Jennifer clarified that she and her team work together with rescue organizations to schedule outings with enterprises and their workforce.
The outings do not only serve as a way for employees to freely interact with lovable dogs. They also become an environment where homeless dogs can show their true personalities outside a dog kennel and possibly match with the right guardians.

Stella’s Ride Outings

During an outing, the staff brings with them a local pet expert. The expert facilitates the interaction between the human/employee and the rescue pup.
All throughout the event, the team captures photos and videos that employees can post on social media.
If you’re wondering how it benefits the rescue group-partner, the company posts a donation link that allows people to donate.
Jennifer added,

“I think that’s such an important part because for me, being new to making a contribution in the animal welfare community, my background has been in running an event production company. I produce what I find to be interactive and engaging events that connect people in really meaningful ways. And just 10 minutes…of petting a dog can decrease cortisol levels and reduce stress. So, we feel that there are dogs that need a little help finding a home, and they need a little love in the process. And there are humans that need a little love and energy.”

Inspired by Jennifer’s dog, Stella, whose favorite words are “Wanna go for a ride?”, Stella’s Ride was founded as a benefit corporation that aims to simply improve the lives of humans and animals by fostering connections between the two parties.
Helping Homeless Dogs Find Homes By Connecting Them with People | Stella's Ride Although Jennifer herself made peace with the fact that they aren’t a program for everybody, she believes that partnering with Stella’s ride is still more beneficial for business owners in the long run since their outings are able to increase employee engagement at lesser costs than through other means.
When asked what her goals were for Stella’s Ride, Jennifer closed the podcast,

“We find that (what we’re doing) can also be a huge opportunity to raise funds and check some of those items off your list. So, not only fundraising and a marketing approach but also the enrichment of the animal.”

   

Learn more about Stella’s Ride!

Check out their website at www.stellasride.com.

Have suggestions for who we should interview next?

Send us a message at [email protected]!

Jennifer: Hi, this is Jennifer Malone, and you’re tuning in to The Animal Innovations Show.

Chris: Jennifer, welcome. Tell us who you are and how you’re innovating and helping animals.

Jennifer: Stella’s Ride is a mission-driven company hoping to create more opportunities for people to connect with dogs as a means of bringing stress relief and enjoyment to both.

To the rescue community, we’re a doggy day-out or a field trip program that helps increase the exposure of the adoptable dogs and also provides an opportunity for fundraising.

On the other hand, Stella’s Ride was designed as an employee engagement tool offering opportunities to experience the “pet effect”, which proved that 10 minutes of petting a dog increases serotonin over extended periods of time.

We chose to establish Stella’s Ride as a benefit corporation so that our impact on the community remains focused on opportunities for people and pets to experience the benefit of the human and animal bond.

Chris: I love that. It’s such a really cool mission. And like you said, it’s not just about animals because you’re engaging the people, and you’re getting them involved as well.

Tell us a little bit more about how the program works.

Jennifer: One of the services Stella’s Ride offers is team-building outings. These are 60 to 90 minutes in the park or outside your offices, where participants enjoy each other’s company while getting to know a handful of rescue dogs.

Through fun activities and communication exercises, we facilitate a relationship between the humans and dogs, and then post photos and videos to social media, increasing the chances of the dog’s finding a forever home.

 For in-office teams, Stella’s Ride helps craft a pet-inclusive policy tailored to your team and their dogs. Through surveys, we learn about the dogs and create the guidelines under which they visit the office.

A recent Banfield Pet Hospital survey showed that 50% of C-suite executives are choosing to allow dogs when they bring their teams back to the office because 91% of employees that work for a pet-friendly company feel more engaged.

Chris: Tell us a little bit more about how you came up with the idea and, you know, move to this—where you are now.

Jennifer: I started my career as a production assistant on a talk show while I was attending grad school. I eventually co-founded a television and live event production company, and I ran it for over a decade.

Stella’s Ride is my second startup and combines my passion to help rescue dogs with my years of creating engaging, interactive, and experiential events designed to foster connections and inspire generosity.

Stella is my dog, and like most dogs that I’ve known, loves to go for a ride in the car. So, “Stella’s Ride” seemed a natural choice to name the company. Two days after we adopted Stella, she was hospitalized with parvo and returned to the shelter to receive around-the-clock medical care that she required to survive.

Fortunately, she did, and we couldn’t be more grateful to the team of rescue volunteers from the shelter and beyond, who helped us navigate a really heartbreaking experience for our family and really help us heal after we were able to bring her home.

Chris: What’s your vision for this? What’s your plan for the next few years? I mean, I know you’re out of Los Angeles, so, is it to grow across the country?

I mean, where do you want to go with this?

Jennifer: I want this to be a model that can be ‘adopted,’ pun intended, in any community. I feel like connecting the employees and the dogs can happen in any community, and I want to make it easy to replicate.

So, I just want to teach other people how to do what I’m doing. It’s not hard. I don’t want to recreate the wheel. I just want to introduce people to this potential way of fostering connections in your community, and I can help do that.

Chris: I personally think it’s a great idea, and I’d love to see where are you going to take it. So, if people want to learn more, or maybe their company wants to sign up, they want to volunteer, Where can they go? Give them all the info.

Jennifer: You can find more about us online at STELLASRIDE.COM, or you can send me an email to [email protected]

And I love telling people about what we do. And I love hearing what your needs are so that I can see if we are a good fit for you and if we can make a small improvement in your life.

Chris: It’s creating an experience. They always talk about the experience really, when you take vacations, and that resonates more with you than even just buying tangible properties.

So, you’re creating a memorable experience, and you’re serving a valuable need by helping these animals find their forever homes.

Like I said, I think it’s a really cool idea, and I’m super excited to see where you’re going to take it.

And of course, we’re going a remind our viewers and listeners. If you’ve got an amazing idea like Jennifer does, and you want to talk about it, just go to INNOVATIONS.SHOW and fill out the form.

And maybe you can be on the show, and I can ask you more about your ideas. So thank you again, Jennifer, for coming on today.

I really appreciate it.

Jennifer: Thanks, Chris.

It was a pleasure to be here.

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