Posted on February 8, 2015
Homeless Hotel Hounds
Admittedly, I’m a bit biased when it comes to Asheville, North Carolina. After all, this is the fun, eclectic city that wooed me to move to the southeast. Imagine my delight when I recently learned about a hotel in Asheville that staffs its lobby with dogs in need of homes!
Enter the Aloft Hotel in downtown Asheville, and you will be greeted by a dog wearing a vest printed with, “Adopt Me.” Dogs in need of homes come to Aloft via a western North Carolina adoption program called Charlie’s Angels Animal Rescue. The adoptable dogs cannot stay in guest rooms at night, but they can and do accompany patrons throughout the rest of the hotel, so long as they are on leash.
How do Aloft guests feel about the adoption program? The hotel director of sales, Christine Kavanagh’s feels that the dogs have a positive impact. She stated, “The guests love it. It shows up on guest reviews and consumer surveys.”
Caren Ferris and her husband adopted Ginger during their hotel stay. They were not intending to return home with a dog, but as Caren explained, “I got up to leave and told her goodbye. She sat up, looked me in the eye and kissed me on the lips.” Ferris and her husband filled out the necessary paperwork, paid the required fees, and following the approval process, took Ginger home to meet their other dogs. Charlie’s Angels requires a home visit before approving any of their adoptions. If the adopters are from another state, the rescue group asks a staff member from a shelter nearby to perform the check.
How has the adoption program been going? Since July 2014 when the Aloft Hotel and Charlie’s Angels began their partnership, 14 dogs have been placed in new homes. Jan Trantham and her husband found their new dog this way. During their travels from Atlanta, they fell in love with a little Shih Tzu named Jackson. Trantham described their feelings stating, “Every time we went somewhere, one of us would say, ‘Let’s go back to the hotel and see Jackson.’ I couldn’t stop thinking about this dog.”
Talk about a win-win situation! Guests at the Aloft Hotel are treated to a unique experience, and some of them just might return home with more than they brought with them. Best of all, homeless dogs are finding their forever homes. Kudos to Charlie’s Angels and Aloft Hotel for their creative collaboration that I hope will set an example in other communities.
How would you feel about staying in a hotel with adoptable dogs in the lobby?
Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Author of Your Dog’s Best Health: A Dozen Reasonable Things to Expect From Your Vet
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
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Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health are available at www.speakingforspot.com, Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.