Have you ever thought about adopting, but wished that there was a way for that pet to spend a few days in your home to ensure that they are a good fit? Lollypop Farm is piloting a program that lets potential adopters do just that!
This new short-term sleepover program allows members of the public to take select pets for adoption home for up to 14 days. letting them get to know the pet in their home. The program is being tested as a way to help reduce stress for the pets at Lollypop Farm while giving them increased visibility in the community. Plus, sleepovers give adopters the ability to see if a pet is a good fit for their home before making a long-term commitment. Even if you don’t want to adopt, this program still benefits pets waiting for homes. It’s win-win for both pets and people!
Those interested in sleepovers with a pet go through a similar counseling experience Lollypop Farm provides adopters, ensuring a happy experience for everyone involved. The family is provided everything they need for the pet in their care, like food and necessary supplies.
You might be wondering if a sleepover away from the shelter, then returning, is stressful for pets. Research done by Arizona State University demonstrates that time in a home and away from the shelter environment actually lowers a pet’s stress levels. The study measured cortisol levels (indicative of stress) in dogs, and found that these levels significantly dropped with just one overnight sleepover! While stress levels did increase when the pet returned, they were not higher than when they first arrived at the shelter. Think of it like going home for the weekend, feeling refreshed, and coming back to work on Monday!
This new program was inspired by a grant challenge put on by Maddie’s Fund! The organization will be awarding $55,000 in grants to shelters across the United States who are able to successfully introduce a short-term sleepover program. Organizations with at least 25 dogs and/or cats participating in the program before January 10, 2020, will be eligible to receive a portion of the total grant funds.
So far, nine pets have left the shelter for sleepovers with families in our community, and two of them have been adopted as a result! As their short-term stays in homes come to an end, we expect to see even more of these lucky cats and dogs finding their families.
Interested in your very own sleepover? Stop by Lollypop Farm to meet pets that are currently available through the sleepover program! Any participating pets will have this sign on their kennel or kitty condo. An adoption counselor will be able to talk you through the process.
Sleepover Program Update:
Banzai (now called Obadiah!) was one of the first dogs to be available through this new program! Crashing on a couch gave him some time away from the shelter and an opportunity for his new family to figure out if he was a good fit for their lifestyle, and vise versa. In mid-December they made it official – this lucky pup found his family!