For many animals holidays are often not a great time of year.
While families are gearing up for the holidays – buying gifts, making cookies and sharing special moments together – there are animals stuck in shelters with none of the warmth and love the holidays are known for.
For most animal shelters this time of year is also incredibly difficult.
Volunteers taking time off means shelter dogs and cats get less time for play, walks and human contact.
Volunteers are the only link for these dogs to have some sense of love and caring – and when the holidays come, sadly the amount of volunteers who can come walk or care for the pets is greatly reduced.
Just another reason “The Most Wonderful Time of The Year” – is not really all that wonderful.
A shelter in Ohio wanted to change that.
The Franklin County Dog Shelter & Adoption Center in Columbus, Ohio created a “Holiday Sleepover” campaign to offer families a chance to open their homes to a homeless pet for three-days.
For three days these homeless animals – that would have sat in a lonely shelter, sometimes on nothing but concrete for a bed, can now enjoy belly rubs, hugs, treats and the feeling of love and the magic that is Christmas.
Offering this program also offers the opportunity for the shelter staff get a good idea of the right home for the animal by understanding how they fit in with the home they slept over at.
Each host family will be provided a report card about the dog or cat so they can provide important home life details about the pet they included in their family fun!
The Result They Hoped For!
Even better – is the chance that a family will decide they are head over heels in love and want the dog or cat to leave – EVER.
Like this lucky girl Diamond, who was adopted by the family that hosted her over the Thanksgiving holiday. The kids and the parents missed her so much when they brought her back – they went back a couple of days later to make her a family member!
Kind of gives us chills!
You can even see how amazing she was during her visit with the family on the shelters Facebook page.
The pictures are amazing, because even if the family did not adopt her – the shelter now has images that show how awesome she is with kids and in a home environment. These are the kind of pictures that can help increase adoption rates.
Happy life Diamond – and thank you to the family for adopting her!
They also encourage their host families to use a specific hashtag to share their pictures on social media so others why may be potentially interested in adoption can see the pets on their sleepovers! #FCDSHolidaySleepover
At the time we wrote about this we learned that 22 of the 66 dogs that had sleepovers were adopted! What a great result!
Interested In Hosting A Pet?
If you are interested in hosting a pet for a holiday – then definitely reach out to a shelter near you!
While other shelters may already offer this type program – many do not. This is a great opportunity for you to help them spearhead their own “Sleepover” campaign so they can take advantage to all the positive benefits of offering this type of opportunity.
Create A Similar Concept For Your Own Shelter!
If you volunteer or work at a shelter – please be sure to pitch this idea to the team. It is an easy program to implement and can have great rewards as shown above.