In an effort to boost morale at the Interior Department, Secretary Ryan Zinke is testing out a program that makes it the first dog friendly agency in the federal government.
“Doggy Days at Interior” will launch initially with trial runs at the agency’s D.C. headquarters on two Fridays in May and September.
“I’m taking action to establish a pilot program for Doggy Days at Interior!” Zinke, a former congressman, retired Navy SEAL, and Montanan, told Washington-area employees in an email that shows photos of him and his wife with their Havanese dog, Ragnar.
“Opening the door each evening and seeing him running at me is one of the highlights of my day,” he continued. “I can’t even count how many miles I’ve driven across Montana with Ragnar riding shotgun, or how many hikes and river floats Lola and I went on with the little guy. But I can tell you it was always better to have him.”
Morale at the agency, which includes the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and six other departments, ranked 11th out of the 18 largest federal agencies last year in a federal government Best Places to Work survey. Of the agency’s 70,000 employees, 61 percent said they were happy in their jobs.
Zinke, who rode a horse to the office his first day, is probably the Trump administration’s most visible animal lover. Trump on the other hand is the first president in 150 years to not have an animal in the White House. Vice President Mike Pence has two cats and a rabbit.