Hotels around the country are finding a unique way to improve guest experiences and the lives of adoptable shelter dogs in their community. Lobby Dogs are becoming increasingly popular for good reason! The guest response is overwhelmingly positive and the number of dogs that are being adopted after participating is incredible.
Here’s how it works. Hotel managers partner with local rescue groups or shelters. The hotel fosters a rescue who serves as the Lobby Dog. The dog is there to greet guests, get cuddles, give kisses, and even go out on adventures with guests. Everyone at the hotel loves to lavish attention on the Lobby Dog. It just makes the property a warm and welcoming place for guests and employees alike. The Lobby Dogs get extra socialization and attention and exposure to loads of potential adoptees. It is a win/win by all measures.
Guests Go on Vacation and Come Home with a Rescue
The Inn by the Sea near Portland, Maine has been implementing this kind of program at their property for about four years. They are partnered with the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland. They foster dogs, giving them a temporary home at the dog-friendly resort. Time and again, a guest of the inn falls in love with one of the lobby dogs and just has to take him home. In fact, for 148 rescue dogs, that is exactly what has happened at Inn by the Sea.
Image Inn by the Sea Facebook
From Co-Worker to Family Member
Employees of the hotels that have Lobby Dogs are not impervious to the inherent charms of their temporary co-workers. It’s not unusual for a hotel staffer to find themselves falling head over heels for a pup that has singled them out as a potential forever friend.
McKibbon Hospitality has Lobby Dog programs in four hotel properties. Their foster work started at Aloft Asheville Downtown in North Carolina after Emma Ledbetter, corporate food and beverage manager, happened to meet a board member of the nonprofit Charlie’s Angels Animal Rescue on a plane. Their first foster, a Chihuahua mix named Gabriel, was adopted after only three days. The program was so wildly successful they decided to roll it out to four other hotels they manage.
Those four foster programs alone have found homes for over 350 dogs! One of those lucky pups, a shy black and white female named Ladybug, went home with Emma herself. Emma would come back into her office and Ladybug would be there waiting, curled up in her chair. How could she resist? McKibbon Hospitality incentivizes employee adoption by offering to pay for half the adoption fee on any adoptions by employees.
From Lobby Foster Dog to Boutique Hotel Mascot
For some of these adorable pups, the hotel itself becomes their forever home. That is what happened for Sasha at the Bobby Hotel in Nashville. The hotel fostered her after she was found under a bridge and rescued by their partner group, Country Road Animal Rescue. She fit right in and the hotel wanted to make her residency final. In an effort to raise more money and awareness for her rescuers, the hotel had special towels printed with her face on them. When a guest buys the towel, proceeds go to Country Road. So far, they have raised $6ooo for the rescue group!
Image Bobby Hotel Facebook
We are thrilled to see programs like this in hotels and resorts across the country. Hundreds of lives enriched and saved. Our hats go off to the property management companies serving the needs of their community in this way and giving these dogs the best chance at adoption possible.
Featured Image Aloft Asheville Downtown Facebook
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