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Success for Shelter Dog Sleepovers

Shelter dogs need a little R&R outside of the shelter.
By Kelsey Dickerson, February 2020, Updated August 2022

All imagery courtesy of Arizona Humane Society

Raider arrived at the Arizona Humane Society in January of 2020 from an overcrowded shelter through Project Reach Out, which allows AHS to accept dogs from other animal welfare agencies that are running out of kennel space. Though his many volunteer and staff member buddies gave him daily enrichment, walks, and play time, Raider needed a little something extra to decompress from the stress of his new environment.

Sleepover Foster Program

Raider was one of the lucky pets who was eligible for the AHS Sleepover Foster Program and was welcomed home with the Thom family for a few days. This short-term foster program allows pups who are experiencing kennel stress to stay with a foster family for up to three nights and simply enjoy the pleasures of being a family dog!

Waking up inside of a home with a comfy bed, playing in a backyard, and getting all of the love and attention we give our own pets at home. All these special Foster Heroes need to do is hang out with their furry guests and observe their behavior. Does this pet like to snuggle in a human’s bed at night? Play with toys? Enjoy car rides? The valuable feedback AHS receives from a pet’s time in a home will teach them a little bit more about their personality and help make the best adoption match.


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Sleepover Foster Heroes are certainly welcome to offer their temporary guest a permanent home by adopting if they choose, but when the dogs are returned after their little vacation, they will be refreshed and ready to meet potential adopters. Plus throughout the duration of a dog’s Sleepover, their adoption profiles are still visible on our adoptable pet pages.

Raider spent an amazing few days with the Thom family being loved, cuddled, played with, and socialized inside and outside of the home. When he returned to AHS, he was much happier and calmer after having such a relaxing time! Best of all… Raider’s newfound state of mind helped him find a loving family of his own just one day after he returned! His story is a great example of how much a little TLC and time in a home can help a pup who just needs a break from the shelter!

Visit to become a Foster Hero (our online orientation is super easy!) and to see the pets in need of Foster Heroes for various reasons, including dogs like Raider who could use a short vacation! Each year, more than 4,600 dogs like Raider are showered with love and compassion by Foster Heroes.