Ohio Shelter Is Giving Dogs Short-Term Homes for the Holidays With Its "Sleepover" Program

iStock/Bogdan Kurylo
iStock/Bogdan Kurylo / iStock/Bogdan Kurylo

The holiday season is often dubbed as “the most wonderful time of the year,” and one Ohio dog shelter is doing what it can to make that true for its resident pups. Through the end of the year, the Franklin County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center in Columbus is offering pet-loving families the chance to host a three-day “Holiday Sleepover” with a homeless pet over the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and/or New Year’s Day holidays.

Though the facility has caretakers onsite to feed and walk their adoptable dogs during the holidays, the shelter itself is closed—meaning that these doggos’ interactions with loving humans will be limited.

In addition to giving these homeless pets all the head pats and belly scratches they can handle, the Holiday Sleepover program gives the shelter a chance to test out what sort of environment might be best suited to each pet when it comes time to finding their forever home.

After three days of gratis puppy kisses, all shelter asks of prospective Sleepover participants is that they share any details about the experience. “We give them a little report card to fill out to get a little more information on the dog than what we had before and we're hoping that will help them get adopted a lot quicker,” shelter director Kaye Dickson told KMBC News. "It's just such a happier environment for these dogs to be in a home versus being stuck in a cage.”

Of course, the ultimate hope is that sleepover hosts won't want to part with their furry new friends. "We're hoping these host families fall in love with the animals as well and they may definitely adopt them," Dickson said. Think of it as a sort of canine test drive—but with a lot more licks.

Even if you’re not in a position to adopt a dog at the moment, you can feel good about giving the little guy a holiday to remember. Visit the shelter's website to learn more about the program. And if you don't live near Columbus, but love the idea of having an adorable pooch take part in your annual tree-trimming party, contact some shelters in your own area to see if they offer any similar programs. Many do.