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This hotel is ‘top dog’

Checking in may never be the same after a visit to the very pet-friendly Aloft Hotel in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. The property houses a uniformed — and hopefully temporary — furry staff member who dons a vest with a special embroidered emblem: “Adopt Me.” Why? Guests can do just that!

As visitors arrive for their own check-in process, a very fortunate shelter/rescue dog from the local animal rescue group Charlie’s Angels has been given the run of the lobby, an on-site dog run with artificial turf and access to a few employee-only areas. The hope is a guest will make a connection with the furry pooch and end their stay by granting the dog a permanent loving home.  

Guests are also allowed to bring their own pets to the hotel (the property does not require a pet fee), and in the eight months that the Adopt-a-Dog partnership has been in test mode, not a single complaint has surfaced about snappy dogs or the need for an emergency cleanup. Garnishing star-like attention from guests who are overwhelmingly supportive about the innovative adoption opportunity, the dog is even available to accompany guests to the restaurant or bar. The only requirement? It must be leashed!

Reviews and surveys show guests are very much in favor of the local rescue-partnership while the hotel has observed how the adoptable dogs act as an instant icebreaker for conversation amongst the guests lingering with the dog.

Should an adoption be of interest, the Aloft will facilitate the required paperwork process, which runs on average US$175 and is attached to a strict approval process for interested guests. The local rescue foundation Charlie’s Angels does require a home visit, and should the guest not be local, arrangements are made with a rescue or shelter in the hometown of the guest to conduct a pre-qualification check.

Since the inception of the program last July, 17 very fortunate dogs have been adopted, making the value of this win-win, feel-good partnership a contender for expansion into other Aloft sister properties. 

Without a doubt, the benefits of the adoption program are pulling at many heartstrings creating content and happiness for many. Already on television, newspapers, magazines and blogs around the world, it’s important to note the Charlie’s Angels Animal Rescue has accomplished all of this without a staff and very limited funds!

Would this type of feel-good pet program be an offering your property would entertain? Personally, I feel its genius and would patronize and spread the news about any property hosting such a unique program.

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