These Hotels Help Foster Dogs Find a Place to Stay
They're taking "pet-friendly" to the next level — and helping their canine guests find forever homes.
The hospitality industry knows that making man’s best friend feel welcome is good business. As of 2014, 60 percent of U.S. hotels opened their doors to dogs (and more are following in their paw prints every year). Some have found a new way to spread the puppy love: In partnership with local rescue organizations, they take in adoptable dogs and help them find new families.
It’s a win-win proposition: “[Our] foster dog program has brought our team closer together and given us a great sense of pride,” says David McCartney, general manager at Aloft Asheville Downtown in North Carolina. "Something about having the dogs live with us at the hotel, play and snooze in our office, and become a member of our hotel family — even if only for a few days or weeks — has been life-changing.”
Keep your eyes peeled for furry faces at these destinations — where more than 300 pups have already found their people.
Aloft Asheville Downtown (Asheville, N.C.)
With the help of Charlie's Angels Animal Rescue, a non-profit that operates a no-kill shelter in Fletcher, N.C., Aloft Asheville has already made 100 love matches. Its Foster Dog Adoption Program is the one that got the ball rolling around the country, and in 2016, USA Today readers voted it America’s best pet-friendly hotel.
Aloft Charlotte Uptown at the Epicentre (Charlotte, N.C.)
It’s good to be a dog in Charlotte: Canine visitors are greeted with a goody bag of treats and toys (and their rooms are outfitted with custom beds and food and water bowls). The hotel also opens its doors to adoptable mutts from Catering to Cats and Dogs, a Charlotte shelter—and you can learn more about their latest guest here.
Aloft Greenville Downtown (Greenville, S.C.)
Since April of 2016, Aloft Greenville has partnered with Let‘Em Live Upstate (an animal-welfare group that unites locals, businesses and rescue groups) and operated a custom doghouse for potential adoptees in its second lobby. The project has been a success, to put it mildly: Four-legged fosters average about eight days at the hotel before leaving with a new leash, collar and welcome-home-at-last! prize pack. All canine guests, in turn, have the run of a grassy walking area on the terrace level.
Aloft Orlando Downtown (Orlando, Fla.)
As of this month, pups from the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando will curl up in Aloft Orlando’s lobby in a doghouse replica of the building, designed and donated by a local architecture firm. The hotel is celebrating the new program with a Yappy Hour, which will include dog-themed cocktails (for humans, that is).
Aloft Tallahassee Downtown (Tallahassee, Fla.)
Aloft Tallahassee just celebrated the first anniversary of its partnership with the Leon County Humane Society, a local group that finds homes for more than 600 animals each year. Sweet-faced fosters like this one get to enjoy a bit of art as they await adoption, since their custom-designed doghouse sits in front of a “TallyProud” mural (hand-painted by Aloft staffer Kara Byrd as a tribute to the city).
Four Points by Sheraton Wakefield (Wakefield, Mass.)
The Wakefield team has partnered with Cape Ann Animal Aid — a non-profit, no-kill shelter in nearby Gloucester — to re-home rescued and transported canine victims of 2017’s devastating hurricane season, and the life-saving program (which began in January) is working like a charm. You can meet their latest guests on their Facebook page — and stop by to meet them any time you like. (Fair warning: You’ll have a hard time leaving without Pebbles and Bamm Bamm, fosters number 10 and 11, in tow — c’mon, look at those faces!)
Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield (Milwaukee, Wis.)
The Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel welcomes (and provides goodies for) dogs up to 40 pounds and serves as a temporary home for pups from The Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha, a no-kill shelter that has cared for Wisconsin strays for more than 40 years. Click here or a glimpse of their newest four-legged friend.
The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa (Rancho Mirage, Calif.)
Canine guests at The Westin can (prevail upon their humans to) order from the "Patio Pooch Menu," offered at two of its restaurants and through room service. Visitors in search of new friends can check in with the Dog Samaritan team and meet the hotel’s latest adoptable foster, courtesy of its Adopt-A-Pet partnership with Animal Samaritans.
Element West Des Moines (Des Moines, Iowa)
The staff at Element West will happily direct you to dog-friendly spots in the neighborhood (like Three Dog Bakery and Just Paws! Gourmet & Gifts), and they’re even happier to introduce you to their latest foster guest (joining them in partnership with Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc., the largest non-profit animal shelter in the state).
Fontainebleau Miami Beach (Miami, Fla.)
Equipped with a complimentary “return to” tag, pups at Fontainebleau are invited to explore the property’s oceanside bark park — and when they’re dog tired, they can enjoy in-room pet movies. Via the all-new “Bleau Adopts” program, foster pups (like little Maria Bonita here, pictured with her new person, Claudia) are visiting the hotel and finding homes with staffers.
The Westin Ottawa (Ontario, Canada)
Registered guests at The Westin Ottawa can meet the hotel’s resident Ottawa Dog Rescue “Westin Wags” foster/greeter (who beds down in a doghouse that’s a ringer for the nearby Parliament Buildings), take him or her for a walk and — if the spark is there — check out with a plus-one.