Hotels guests can adopt a dog
Hotels guests can adopt a dog Will Trantham kneels by Jackson, left, a Shih Tzu, along with Darcy, center, and Sophie. Trantham and his wife adopted Jackson when they checked into Aloft Hotel in downtown Asheville (AP photos)
Hotels guests can adopt a dog
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At this hotel, guests get welcomed with a wagging tail or a warm lick to the face.

A dog will bound out from behind the registration desk, clad in an "Adopt Me" vest, as visitors arrive at the Aloft hotel in downtown Asheville, NorthCarolina, believed to be the only hotel in the U.S. where guests can adopt the dog that greets them when they check in.

But the hotel doesn't overwhelm road-weary travelers to this mountain tourist mecca, where people come to tour the nation's largest home, the Biltmore estate; cast a fly-fishing rod; or hoist a beer in what has been dubbed "Beer City USA." There's only one adoptable dog at a time, and it's always on a leash.

The pooches at the Aloft Asheville Downtown hotel are part of an adoption program run by the hotel and Charlie's Angels Animal Rescue, which saves the pets from possible euthanasia at area shelters.

"We feel like we are saving lives," said Christine Kavanagh, Aloft's director of sales.

Hotel and rescue workers hope the program not only becomes permanent but spreads to some of the chain's other locations, too. The Asheville hotel, which also allows guests' pets to stay for free, opened in 2012 and has not received one complaint about allergies, messes or dueling dogs, Kavanagh said.

The adoptable dogs have space set aside at the registration desk, on the roof, third floor and in certain employee areas. They can't stay in guest rooms at night but can go with visitors to the restaurant, bar and other spots if they're on a leash.

"The guests love it (and) it shows up on guest reviews and consumer surveys," Kavanagh said.

Caren Ferris of Amherst, Massachusetts, and her husband certainly did. The couple were staying nearby when they met a 4-year-old terrier mix named Ginger in the hotel bar and cozied up to the pooch sporting an "Adopt Me" vest.

After a visit, "I got up to leave and told her goodbye. She sat up, looked me in the eye and kissed me on the lips. So I called the shelter, thinking maybe we should adopt the dog," Ferris said.

She and her husband filled out the adoption papers, paid $175 in fees and waited to be approved before they were able to take Ginger home to meet their other dogs.

Charlie's Angels has tough adoption standards, including a home visit. If a potential owner is from another state, the rescue will ask a shelter there to do the check.

The restrictions haven't stopped 14 dogs from finding homes since the program started in July, said Kim Smith, president of Charlie's Angels. The rescue's placements have doubled since the hotel started stationing the dogs.

Jan Trantham and her husband, from Atlanta, adopted a 2-year-old Shih Tzu named Jackson. They fell in love with him when they checked in, she said.

"Every time we went somewhere, one of us would say, 'Let's go back to the hotel and see Jackson.' l couldn't stop thinking about this dog," Trantham said.

It's also a wonderful way for the dogs and the guests to socialize, Kavanagh said.

"We have a little playpen by the front desk. At times, there's a crowd around the pen because the dog is a conversation starter."

Critical thinking challenge: Why might an Adopt me vest be more effective than an Adopt me dog collar?

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Assigned 29 times

  • Aw2001soccer
    1/08/2015 - 12:58 p.m.

    its more effective because sometimes you cant see a collar on a dog because of its hair but if you have a vest you would be able to see it and it would stand out more

  • MikaylaStazewski-Ste
    1/08/2015 - 01:21 p.m.

    I think allowing hotel guests to adopt a dog during their stay is a pretty nifty and clever idea. I am sure they would have the cutest dogs to choose from too.

  • NickB-2
    1/08/2015 - 08:01 p.m.

    This article is about a hotel where visitors can adopt a dog. The hotel in North Carolina is run by Charlies Angels, a dog adoption company. when visitors come in they are greeted by a dog who is up for adoption this dog usually has and "adopt me" collar or vest on. According to surveys of the hotel visitors satisfaction rates have gone up since they started this dog adoption program.I think this is really great. They are saving dogs from the pound and offering them new homes.

  • MaxG-4
    1/08/2015 - 10:18 p.m.

    This article is about a hotel that has begun a campaign to help Charlies Angel's, a dog rescue organization by having dogs in the lobby with an adopt me vest. This campaign has helped 14 dogs get homes. This is already a tourist spot so it does help to increase the amount of adopted animals. They say it in all costs about 175$ to adopt the dog.

    I like this article for humanitarian reasons. I believe in helping animals, not just dogs, find places they can live. I don't think that animals should be left alone to just live a bad life. The dogs are naturally wild, but living in a city or suburban environment, will cause them do become domesticated an rely on humans. This is what leads to us having our dogs today.

  • TF00Music
    1/09/2015 - 12:59 p.m.

    It might be more effective because the collar is harder to see than the vest. The vest is around the dog and way more visible than the collar where it might be under the digs fur.

  • RM00charlie
    1/09/2015 - 01:00 p.m.

    an adopt me vest is better then the collar because its more visible and the colors are more eye popping and will easily catch peoples attention

  • tw2001marvel
    1/09/2015 - 01:00 p.m.

    An "Adopt me" vest will be more effective than an "Adopt me" collar because the vest is more visible. If you gave the dog a collar, you won't be able to read the words on it because it will be too small and the dogs hair would be in the way of the words on said collar.

    1/09/2015 - 01:02 p.m.

    It is more affective because sometimes you wouldn't be able to see a dog's collar because of their hair but when they have a vest on, it is much more clear than the collar.

  • TehyaWhite-Ste
    1/09/2015 - 01:03 p.m.

    This is actually a really cool idea. I think that a vest might be worn instead of a collar for two reasons. They are seen easier that way. I think it is also cuter which in turn will draw more people in to actually adopt a dog.

  • NashMcComsey-Ste
    1/09/2015 - 01:07 p.m.

    This is one of the most heartwarming articles i have ever read on this site. I support any plan that saves dogs from the needle at shelters that are otherwise overpopulated. I hope only the best for the hotel and the shelter.

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