Here at Anderson Moores we always like to keep our finger on the pulse of popular culture and this month the global sensation that is Pokémon Go has caught our attention.

Unless you've been snoozing like a Snorlax or living under a rock over the last few weeks – and, quite possibly, even then – you’ll likely have heard about this latest phenomenon taking youngsters (and those of the older generation that should probably know better!) by storm.

If you’ve encountered your kids wondering aimlessly around outside, staring intently at their phone, this could be why. The interactive game, which uses a smartphone’s GPS and camera to let users hunt, capture and train Pokémon characters in the ‘wild’, has been tempting mobile gamers into the great outdoors to “catch ’em all”.

Now we prefer our pets to have a little more substance than these digital ‘creatures’; however, it seems that the game’s explosive popularity has generated some unexpected opportunities for our canine companions in the real world too.

Alongside the countless stories of unintended mishaps, stemming from non-observant users; including players falling off cliffs, crashing cars and even being robbed, we are starting to hear about the more positive consequences associated with obsessive game playing. An animal shelter in America, trying to harness the latest mobile gaming craze to do something constructive, namely help keep their lonely dogs company, is a prime example.

With the goal of providing exercise and stimulation for the dogs, as well as potentially connecting prospective families with the animals, the Muncie Animal Shelter in Indiana advertised for players to pick up their canine companions and take them for a walk while they catch Pokémon. According to a shelter representative, there’s been an incredible response since the initiative. People appear to have enjoyed taking dogs out on their hunts, sending their photographs in to the shelter's Facebook page.

The good news doesn’t stop there. Whilst racking up their ‘Poké –miles’, the Thomas family from Kentucky spotted a Beagle by some train tracks, and immediately abandoned their game. The Beagle was in an appalling state - covered in blood, missing an ear and his tail, and even suffering from a gunshot wound. After its rescue, the Beagle was named Ash after the lead character in Pokémon and hopes to be adopted by the Thomas family once it’s recovered.

Here’s hoping the support for our four-legged friends continues whilst the game surges in popularity.

Published: 26-07-2016

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