At the Home2 Suites by Hilton Biloxi North/D’Iberville in Mississippi, guests can avail of the usual amenities; free Wi-Fi, a hot breakfast and use of the fitness centre or outdoor pool. One offering is completely unique however, as the extended stay hotel has partnered with a local shelter to allow guests to adopt dogs and have them move in with them.
The hotel has partnered with the Humane Society of South Mississippi as part of their Your2 Hands philanthropic programme, with the goal of providing homes for orphaned dogs. It sees one dog at a time taking up residency in a large and comfortable bed in the hotel lobby, allowing guests to spend time with them and take them for walks. “Home2 Suites wants our guests to have a stay that feels unique and comfortable, and enabling them to enjoy having access to a pet reinforces one of the many ways we look at a hotel stay differently,” said Kitty Ferguson, general manager.
The hotel caters to many military personal on a longer-term basis, so the idea came from wanting to provide companionship to guests that may be feeling lonely during their time there. The programme also frees up more space at the Humane Society of South Mississippi, ensuring more dogs can be accommodated.
“Guests have been so excited about new doggy resident arrivals to the point that their front desk staff will have to create ‘waiting lists’ to spend one-on-one time with them. These dogs get so spoiled! Many guests have taken them on outings to the beach, out to lunch, up to their rooms for a sleepover, or even across the street to PetSmart for a spa day,” Bianca Janik of the HSSM told Lonely Planet.
The initiative has proven so popular that the Humane Society of South Mississippi has worked alongside the hotel’s upper management to co-ordinate adoptions from the hotel lobby. The HSSM went through adoption counselling protocol with Home2 Suites, training them on how to handle the process in a responsible way and to background check prospective owners. To date, 33 dogs have found forever homes through the programme.
More information on the Humane Society of South Mississippi is available at the official website.
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