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Puppies & Pilates paws its way into CNY gyms March 3

Anytime Fitness Manlius, Trillium make way for wagging-tail workouts

(WSYR-TV) - Goat Yoga proved to be very popular nationwide, but also across Central New York. 

On Saturday, March 3, Puppies Pilates will paw its way into Central New York with events happening at two gyms.

Keeping in line with the canine theme, Anytime Fitness in Manlius is hosting the event to raise funds for two local dog rescues and to help dogs get adopted as well.

There are two sessions on Saturday at 11 a.m. and noon. More information is listed here.

Each month, Anytime Fitness works on a community service project to give back, according to gym general manager, Jennifer Sweet.

How does it work?

While you're doing Pilates, there will be dogs there to "assist you" from both Helping Hounds Dog Rescue and Second Chance Canine Adoption Shelter.

"It was either kickboxing and kittens or puppies and Pilates, so we went with the 'Puppies and Pilates,'" Sweet said. "We have a couple of members who wanted to bring their small dogs, so they'll be joining us as well.The event is completely cost-free. We just suggest a donation to one or both of the shelters."

Two pooches who will be at Anytime Fitness are Vanna, a young pit bull mix, up for adoption at Second Chance, and Shiloh, a beagle mix, also ready for adoption at Helping Hounds. 

"She was running around loose around the Van Duyn property for a really long time in the bitter cold weather we had in January," said Stefanie Heath, a board member at Second Chance. "She kept eluding us. We couldn't find her. Staff was seeing her. Then finally, after four months of her being on her own, we were able to capture her."

Showing her comfort around Shiloh and a few trainers at Anytime Fitness, Vanna has changed since being in foster care.

"She went from being kind of nervous around new people and unsure to just loving everyone," Heath said.

Vanna's adoption fee is sponsored and Second Chance recommends she goes to a home with adults with secure doors and a secure fence.

Shiloh, rescued from a high-kill shelter in Texas, also showed good skills spotting on the Pilates mat.

 "She is just a wonderful little girl," said Erin Zacholl, Development Director at Helping Hounds. "She gets along beautifully with people. She loves her dogs friends. She really loves to play and run around. There's a fun and active side to her."

Both Vanna and Shiloh along with other adoptable dogs will be at Saturday's event at Anytime Fitness.

Happening at Trillium Sport & Fitness on March 3:

Inspired by the military service in her own family and for all who have served, STOTT Pilates Training instructor Terri Todd, is running Puppies Pilates at Trillium Sport & Fitness to benefit Clear Path for Veterans and its Dogs2Vets program.

Dogs2Vets provides Service and Emotional Support Dog training to Veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Military Sexual Trauma (MST).

The March 3 event is sold out as of today, but Todd still welcomes people to stop by and see how it works and make a donation to Dogs2Vets. Todd says she plans to organize more Puppies Pilates events in the near future.

Trying out Pilates before the event, 14-week-old Labrador puppy, Hotel, managed to share his loving personality and offered puppy kisses to people working out.

According to Todd's son, Ryan Woodruff, a U.S. Marine Corps. veteran and the Dogs2Vets program manager, the cost to train a puppy to be a PTSD support dog can cost up to $30,000 a year depending on vet care and year-round care and training.

The cost is priceless, according to Woodruff, because it can "change a veteran's life."

"Clear Path offers a lot of programs and services to help deal with that," Woodruff shared. "Our dogs specifically are trained to encourage social interaction. We try to mitigate isolation and getting them out to Clear Path and engaging them into community dog training really helps with that."

Woodruff, who served two tours in Iraq between 2005 and 2009, says transitioning into society is difficult.

*As of Thursday evening, Shiloh has been adopted. More adoption-ready dogs from both Helping Hounds and Second Chance will be at Saturday's event. Vanna is still looking for her fur-ever home and will be at Puppies & Pilates at Anytime Fitness in Manlius.


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