Adopt a Shelter Dog from This Mississippi Hotel Lobby and It Can Move Right into Your Room
Now this is what we call a five-star amenity!
One hotel in Biloxi, Mississippi, has gone to the dogs—in a good way.
Home2 Suites, which caters to extended-stay guests, has hosted adoptable shelter dogs from the Humane Society of South Mississippi through their “Fostering Hope” program since October 2018. According to USA Today, so far 33 guests have gone home with one of the pups, who hang out in a large kennel in the lobby.
"They have a lot of transient guests who stay for months at a time near our Army and Navy bases and that's just enough time to fall in love with a dog," Bianca Janik, the shelter's relations manager, told the paper. Many of the adopters have been military.
The unconventional program was the brainchild of Teresa Johnston, the hotel's sales director.
"Teresa thought they needed to set their hotel apart and this was it,” Janik explained to USA Today. “She wanted to have the business more involved with the community. It was a very out-of-the-box way to find our animals new homes, so we were on board.”
When adopters are approved (you can apply and pay the $50 adoption fee right at the hotel!), the dog can immediately move into their new family’s room. This frees up space at the shelter, which takes in approximately 8,000 dogs a year.
Janik credits the success of the program to a careful selection process on the part of the shelter when it comes to the dogs, and the good judgment of the hotel staff. It’s a delicate balance, which is part of the reason they haven't expanded it to other hotels yet. But that’s not off the table either.
"Because there are live animals are in the mix, we have to be able to trust that their health and well-being are taken care of first and foremost," she told USA Today.
Count adoptable shelter dogs as the hotel amenity we’ll be looking for the next time we travel!