An Arizona woman is sacrificing her comfort by having Saturday night sleepovers at an animal rescue shelter, in the hopes that it will get the animals adopted faster.
Melissa Gable is the PR Manager for Foothills Animal Rescue on Scottsdale, near Phoenix.
“I’m in here with three dogs. I’ve got Spike, this is Pima, Spike is over here, and then Demeana is sleeping on the dog bed,” said Gable in a video of the shelter animal slumber party. “Spike is also under the covers he’s down by my feet.”
Gable has now spent eight Saturday nights at the shelter, and she’s started posting videos on the YouTube channel: Shelter Pet Slumber Party.
“My hope is that eventually people will start watching them and seeing the videos and sharing them and come and adopt the dogs,” she said.
The idea originally came from a hound dog mix named Sebastian, who was adopted and then returned. The dog seemed very sad, so Gable decided to spend the night at the shelter to cheer him up.
Then Gable decided to keep coming every week. She hoped that people would see how much comfort it brought the dogs to have someone to cuddle with at night.
The shelter employee, who says helping homeless pets is her passion, brought a sleeping bag into the shelter and started recording her interactions with the dogs and cats waiting to find a family.
Gable said the videos might show people how the cat or dog might act in a home environment, and how they might be used to sleeping on a bed with a person or in close contact with another animal. Each pet has a different preference and personality.
“It’s something that I really enjoy. A lot of people have kind of said I’m crazy for doing that … but as soon as I got here and saw the animals, then I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but here.”
Foothill Animal Rescue was started in 1995 in Cave Creek, and it now has two locations in Scottsdale. After the opening of the second location, an adoption center, the organization said the number of pet lives that were saved increased by 66 percent.
Scottsdale was recently ranked the number one most pet-friendly city in the country out of 100 major cities, according to a study by WalletHub, which measured factors such as veterinarians per capita, outdoor pet friendliness, and overall pet health and wellness.
The city was also ranked number two for the number of pet-friendly hotels, and it was placed in the top ten for animal shelters per capita.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), around 6.5 million pets enter animal shelters in the United States every year, while about 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized.
Fox contributed to this report.