Animal shelters provide temporary refuge for dogs and cats in need. Unfortunately, some pets spend months or even years in these facilities before finding suitable homes. All this time spent in drab, noisy kennels can take its toll.
That’s why the Michigan Animal Rescue League puts a heavy focus on enrichment.
According to their website:
“The goal of enrichment is to minimize stress levels by adding different kinds of stimulation and activities to each animal’s daily routine. In a typical day, dogs and cats should have mental, physical, environmental, and social stimulation, just as they would if they were in their forever home.”
The staff and volunteers at MARL achieve this goal by stimulating the pets’ most important senses: sight, sound, smell, and taste. They also provide lots of exercise, socialization, and brainwork using puzzles, directed play, and daily training.
Recently, a video of some MARL dogs enjoying a special enrichment treat went viral on TikTok. The clip shows a volunteer filling face cloths with tasty treats and rolling them up burrito-style.
Once he has a stack of colorful “burritos,” the volunteer enters the kennel area and begins to pass them out to the eager pups.
With tails wagging and noses sniffing, the dogs each employ different approaches for tackling their burritos. A black puppy happily paws at his wrapped snack, has a biiiiiiiig stretch, then digs in. The following two dogs carry their bundles to their beds before gently nudging them open and feasting on the hidden treats.
Pup number four is a fan favorite. With no trace of decorum, he grabs a corner of his towel and flips the burrito open before shamelessly digging in.
“The one who yeeted everything on the floor/bed is my spirit animal,” commented Reddit user Falcon9145.
“That’s how i unpack my Doordash,” added another Redditor.
Whichever pup you identify with most, it’s clear that the pets at the Michigan Animal Rescue League are lucky to have such loving, creative caretakers!
@mi_animalrescueleague Shelter Enrichment #MARL #fyp #dogsoftiktok #wholesome #michigan ♬ Love You So – The King Khan & BBQ Show
For those concerned that the face cloths could become dangerous foreign bodies if swallowed (I’m right there with you!), a MARL representative pointed out that the dogs are always carefully monitored during enrichment time.
And Burrito Day is just the beginning! Other special programs employed by the MARL enrichment team include classical music, audiobooks, agility course training, kiddie pools, ball pits filled with hidden treats, car rides, trips to the park, sleepovers, and much more!
RELATED: Pup Sleepovers Give Dogs A Break From Shelter Life & Help Them Get Adopted
You can help the Michigan Animal Rescue League provide the best possible experience for their shelter pets by donating items from their enrichment wish list:
- New or gently used Kongs or other fillable toys – all sizes/types
- Peanut Butter, Cheese Wiz, Applesauce, Chicken Broth, Pumpkin Puree, Tuna
- New or gently used dog/cat puzzles – all sizes/types
- Clean Egg cartons, clean plastic containers (empty sour cream containers/cottage cheese containers)
- Clean Drinking Straws
- Pipe Cleaners
- New or gently used books
- New or gently used slow feeders – all sizes/types
- Dog and Cat treats – all types
Items can be dropped off or delivered to 790 Featherstone Street, Pontiac, MI 48342.