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
Lexile: 900L

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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 Asheville, North Carolina. It's 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. 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. It's run by the hotel and Charlie's Angels Animal Rescue. The rescue saves the pets from possible euthanasia at area shelters.

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

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

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 they can go with visitors to the restaurant, bar and other spots if they're on a leash.

"The guests love it. 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. They 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. They 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. They include 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.

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 .

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

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Assigned 84 times

  • Jm1999white
    1/08/2015 - 08:37 a.m.

    if adopt me is on a collar u can hardly see it and also if its on a vest its bigger then a collar and it stands out more

  • Erica-Arm
    1/08/2015 - 08:48 a.m.

    I think this is a great idea. If you are tired and gloomy coming into the hotel, the dogs will love you. They give you some time to get to know the dog before you buy it. The dogs really love it, too. It sure beats living in the kennel. The vest is a good idea because if you walk into the hotel and get met with a doggy kiss, you wouldn't know what to think.

  • EliC-Arm
    1/08/2015 - 09:03 a.m.

    This is a heartwarming and great thing to do because this hotel has dogs with big adopt me vests on that everybody can see and then the visitors get attached to a dog and end up adopting it. The dogs may have never found a home if it weren't for this hotel.

  • Brenna-Arm
    1/08/2015 - 09:47 a.m.

    That is so awesome that a hotel can help dogs in need of a home! No wonder I've never heard that existed! There's only one! I think that is a great cause, and there should be more around the country. Also, it's pretty cool a hotel can help dogs, but what about cats? Everyone thinks dogs are so special, and they are, but the point is: no one thinks about cats, because supposedly, they aren't mans best friend! However, people are wrong. Cats make great pets too! A hotel like described above for cats too would help people see that.

    • Natalee-Arm
      1/08/2015 - 11:58 a.m.

      Hey Brenna! I get where you are getting that but what if the cats and dogs don't get along, or do you mean they aren't at the same hotel.

  • 9zawald
    1/08/2015 - 09:54 a.m.

    I think that an adopt me vest would be more visible and would bring more attention to the people that are looking for a dog because people really couldn't see the collar because it's around the dogs neck and it can't really be seen but I think this is a amazing idea for dogs.

  • 9lvallejo
    1/08/2015 - 09:55 a.m.

    I think that adopt me vest look better and make people pay attention to the dog and I think it is great that they are letting dogs in that hotel and letting them in with guest also they let them get adopted to.

  • Addie-Arm
    1/08/2015 - 10:20 a.m.

    I would love to go to that hotel. It is cool how the dogs can come with you to places, like eat and other fun stuff!

  • jessican-tri
    1/08/2015 - 10:24 a.m.

    this passage made me think because, allot of places don't let you have dog but i like that they are trying to make hotel owners that they Can allow dogs. i think that the vest in better then a coller because vests are bigger and It can have so much attraction

  • anthonyc-tri
    1/08/2015 - 10:29 a.m.

    I thought it was very sweet for what she did for those dogs that needed help. I hope people can catch on and do the same as christian kavangha

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