Lycoming County SPCA pilots dog-walking, exercise program with YMCA

The Lycoming County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is piloting a five-week dog-walking and exercise program with the River Valley YMCA starting 10:30 a.m. June 12.

The free exercise program will be held on the River Walk and is open to any member of the Williamsport Branch of the River Valley YMCA.

Dogs enrolled in the SPCA’s enrichment programs will be selected by SPCA dog trainer and behaviorist, Tracy Free, to participate in the program. The first of the five classes will begin with a dog-handling introduction at the River Walk with Free and SPCA staff.

All participants are required to participate in the introduction.

“We love the idea of this program because it’s a nice way to connect with Y members who are active and a great it is an opportunity to get some fun-loving, active dogs in the community to find their forever people,” said Mindee Lyon, SPCA development director.

“The Williamsport branch Y is excited to partner with the Lycoming County SPCA Freedom Runners to further the physical health in both our members and that of the dogs they’ll be interacting with. We see this as yet another great way to give back to the community, to whom our mission is to serve,” said Rachel Bryant, YMCA wellness director.

Sign-ups for the pilot program are at the Williamsport branch of the YMCA, 320 Elmira St., and are open to members of all activity levels.

The group will meet at the new parking area on the north side of the Carl E. Stotz Memorial Little League Bridge for five consecutive Thursdays.

The SPCA cannot guarantee there will be a dog for each participant as dogs hopefully are adopted as a result of this and other programs.

The program will be held rain or shine.

On days when the temperature is 80 degrees or higher, or there is heavy rain or lightening, the program will be held at the Total Sports and Activity Center, 310 Elmira St.

For more information, contact Lyon at 570-322-4646 or email mlyon@lyc