Wagging Tails at Check-in

A North Carolina hotel hosts adoptable dogs.
By JoAnna Lou, January 2015, Updated July 2016
If you miss your dogs while on vacation, you'll love the Aloft hotel in Asheville, North Carolina--but you may need to make room for an extra passenger on the way home! In July, the lodging chain's downtown location teamed up with Charlie's Angels Animal Rescue to host a dog until a forever home could be found.

Since then, guests have been welcomed by an adoptable canine when they come to stay. The dog is always on leash or in an exercise pen as to not overwhelm anyone at check-in. The pups can't stay in guest rooms, but they can accompany visitors to the restaurant, bar, and other public areas.

People come to Asheville for the Great Smoky Mountains, the craft beer scene, or the artsy culture, but now some are heading home with a new furry family member. Jan Trantham and her husband, from Atlanta, Georiga, fell in love with a 2-year old Shih Tzu named Jackson at check-in. Each day they set out to sightsee, but found themselves wanting to go back to see Jackson, and eventually adopted him.

Since the program launched five months ago, 14 dogs have been adopted and the hotel has received plenty of positive feedback from guests. Aloft and Charlie's Angels hope to expand the collaboration to other hotels within the chain. Aloft has always been pet friendly, allowing dogs to stay for free, so adding the program felt natural.

Adoptions have even extended beyond hotel guests. Caren Ferris of Amherst, Mass. and her husband were staying nearby, but met Ginger, a 4-year old Terrier mix, at the hotel bar. Next thing they knew, the Ferris' were calling the shelter and filling out adoption papers.


Sign up for our newsletter and stay in the know.

Email Address:

The program has had many benefits. The dogs get to live outside of the shelter and socialize with many different people. And guests missing their own pets  can get their dog fix, and maybe even meet a new addition. The pups also encourage guests to mingle since they make such good conversation starters.

A win for both people and puppies!


JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.