You can fall in love anywhere. That’s the idea behind pups greeting guests in the lobby of a North Carolina hotel. This week, it’s Annabelle. She comes from a nearby rescue in Asheville called Charlie’s Angels and chances are she won’t be here long. Already, 20 rescue dogs like Annabelle have left for new digs after a chance encounter with a guest.
“Some dogs last an hour and a half. Some dogs last a little longer and it’s just amazing,” says Kim Smith who works at Charlie’s Angels rescue.
It all started about six months ago. One of the volunteers from the rescue met one of the hotel workers on a plane. There were so many good dogs and just not enough people coming by to take one home, she told her seatmate. The hotel worker said Asheville’s Aloft hotel was dog friendly, pets were welcomed, and maybe a dog looking for a home would be welcomed as well.
So now, when guests check in, they sometimes check out with a new member of the family. It's not an immediate adoption. Potential new dog owners have to go through an application process and waiting period to ensure what started as simple attraction truly is something more.
“Sometimes when they’re seen behind bars in shelters, it’s hard to imagine this could be your family pet,” says Leslie Brog, who runs a rescue in the Los Angeles area. She’s found homes for her dogs after holding a one-day adoption even inside a retro clothing store in the city’s fashion district. “When they’re in venues such as these, it’s uplifting.”
In North Carolina, the response is beyond what they could have imagined. Sometimes a dog will be adopted within hours, or multiple guests want the same dog. It’s true.