Individuals looking to add a furry member to their family have a number of different ways of adopting a pet. They can browse pet ads in the newspaper, visit the local animal shelter, or now they can try an unconventional way: going to a local hotel.
At Aloft Greenville Downtown, visitors can stop by the hotel lobby and spend time with an adoptable dog. Potential adopters can hold, play and take each foster dog up to the sixth floor dog walk for some outdoor fun.
“Falling in love with a foster dog at a hotel is kind of an unexpected surprise,” said Jonathan Brashier, Aloft Greenville’s general manager.
Shortly after the program launched, Rhett, the first dog up for adoption, found his forever home within two days of staying at Aloft. Another dog, Minnie, was adopted within four days.
Jeremy Monday, Rhett’s adopter, said it was love at first sight. “He stole my heart, which I thought couldn’t happen again after putting my dog Oliver to sleep back in September at the age of 16,” Monday said. “I knew he would be right for our family, including a playmate for our dog Mae.”
Brashier said the adopters are keeping the Aloft team members updated with pictures on the furry former hotel guests. “We hope that each one finds its forever home quickly because we get so attached so fast,” Brashier said.
Aloft Greenville Downtown, along with Let’em Live Upstate, an organization aimed at giving animals a voice and creating positive changes for animal welfare in Greenville, launched the foster dog program on April 12. The new program is modeled after the successful foster dog program at Aloft Asheville Downtown, which launched in 2014 and has helped 59 dogs find homes so far.
The hotel connects the potential adopter with Let’em Live Upstate, where they begin a vetting process. Applications are taken in the order received. Let’em Live Upstate then makes phone calls to references and makes a home visit if the adopter is local.
Aloft will house small to medium-size dogs from different rescue foster groups across the Upstate. “All of the rescue organizations, all the dogs, are local,” Brashier said. “So we really want to make a difference here in the community.”
Several sponsors have been vital in the start-up of the program. Wilson Associates Real Estate partnered with Tindall Architecture Workshop to build a doghouse for the program, which happens to be a miniature replica of the hotel. The house is in the hotel lobby and serves as each adoptable dog’s own space to play and rest. Greenville-based Solid Gold Pet also supplies each foster dog with nutrient-dense food and sends each adopting family home with a care package. Additionally, Paw Paws USA, a Greenville retailer that designs a line of collars, leashes and harnesses, sends each dog home with a new leash and collar and has also provided a pet bed for the space at Aloft.
“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Aloft to launch this wonderful program,” said Jessica Monroe, director of Let’em Live Upstate. “The program is a win-win for all involved.”