Unique program at D’Iberville hotel a tail-wagging success

Unique program at D’Iberville hotel a tail-wagging success

D’IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - A D’Iberville hotel has partnered with the Humane Society of South Mississippi for what’s turned out to be a dog-gone good program.

Home2 Suites has added a new meaning to the phrase “pet-friendly" by going to the dogs, and every one is loving it.

Spot is a doxie-mix living the paw-sh life at Home2 Suites in D’Iberville. It’s a way the hotel and the Humane Society of South Mississippi are teaming up to find him and other dogs fur-ever homes.

“It just seemed like a natural fit," said the hotel’s Director of Sales Teresa Johnston.

This foster dog program is her brainchild. She saw it as a way to give not only the dogs a chance to feel at home but the guests as well.

“A lot of our military people are here for six months at a time. They have animals at home, and when they see a little puppy, I can’t tell you how many of my men come in here and the first thing they do is ‘I want to take him for a walk,'" she said.

The dogs also get to stay with guests overnight or even go on field trips. Johnston said the best part about this program is it gives these dogs a natural environment to be in.

“They truly are little gentlemen and little ladies because they’re just stress-free here," she said.

Shyer dogs like Spot really benefit from the program.

“A dog like Spot is going to sit back and let people pass him by, versus here this isn’t the normal environment they get to see him in, so it’s going to attract them just naturally," said Bianca Janik, adoptions manager for HSSM.

The program has been a tail-wagging success. Since it started in October, nine out of a nearly dozen dogs who have stayed at the hotel have been adopted out.

“The feeling is overwhelming with how I feel at night knowing that somebody’s not afraid, somebody’s not scared or lying dead on the road," Johnston said.

“One open kennel is an open kennel that a dog can come in to, and it really helps us lower the risk of euthanasia for the animals," Janik said.

Johnston hopes more hotels will soon jump on board and give the pups a new “leash” on life.

“Hospitality is one thing, but taking it up a notch and giving that little something extra, this is that little something extra,” she said.

Guests can actually adopt the dogs directly from the hotel without having to even visit the Humane Society. Those who aren’t staying at the hotel are also invited to come meet the dogs as well.

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