Being dumped at a shelter can be extremely traumatic for dogs. The family and home life they knew has been replaced with a noisy, unknown setting.
Fortunately, one shelter is looking to bring back a bit of the normalcy some dogs have lost.
The Toledo Area Humane Society in Ohio has created a “Real Life Room,” an area designed to look like a home.
Equipped with a recliner, rug, pillows, dresser and TV, the room helps make the dog’s life feel more normal, while giving him a chance to unwind. And one of the best parts of the room is the lamp, which allows volunteers to turn off the harsh florescent bulbs for warm, soothing lighting.
“The dogs can decompress in a quiet and relaxing environment much like they would be able to at their forever homes,” Jessica LaValley, the annual fund manager of the Toledo Area Humane Society, told This Dog’s Life. “They get one-on-one time with people, and it is just a great way for them to feel safe and peaceful,” adding it is especially beneficial for anxious dogs.
The room not only helps dogs relax but also provide an opportunity for staff and volunteers to get a better understanding of the dog and how he would do in a home.
“We are able to get a much better sense of a dog’s true personality in a real life setting as opposed to how they behave in their kennel,” LaValley says. “We can more accurately describe dogs to potential adopters this way to make sure we are making great matches for the adopters and their new pets.”
And it seems to be paying off. According to LaValley, the shelter has already seen a number of adoptions because of the Real Life Room. “We had several dogs that were able to meet with potential adopters walk out of the Real Life Room and the shelter altogether and right into their new homes!”