Imagine that you’re a dog — not just any dog. We want you to close your eyes for a moment and imagine that you are one of the millions of dogs that end up in a U.S. animal shelter each year. Maybe you started life on the streets or maybe you lived with a family who never paid you any mind before big humans came to take you away to a place filled with other dogs. You get your own room with walls made from wires in a hallway with so many other dogs from all walks of life. These humans give you food and water every day, but they never stay. A few times a day, you get to go outdoors to use the bathroom, to feel the sun on your back, and to feel the grass beneath your paws, but it never lasts. Sometimes, other humans come to look at you and the other dogs. Some of them stop and smile at you, but others pass you by. Desperate to tell them that you want them to stay, you try to get their attention in the only way you know how: by barking. All the dogs you share a hallway with do the same thing. You cannot see the other dogs in the shelter, but you can hear them, too.
Due to the massive homeless pet problem in the United States, shelters are often overcrowded. When one dog is adopted, there’s another rescue case ready to take their kennel. However, this is only a small portion of shelter animals. Of the 70 million homeless animals living in the U.S., only about six to eight million ever make it into shelters. It’s a rough life. That’s why one shelter has gone the extra mile for their resident pooches.
At Toledo Area Humane Society, adoptable dogs who have trouble dealing with the stresses of kennel life have the chance to chill in “The Real Life Room.” The old office was converted into a living room set-up, complete with a television set.
The room has controlled lighting, so adoptable dogs can experience the room in bright lighting or a more relaxing dim lighting. Dogs also have the chance to enjoy some quiet time on the cozy shag rug.
Or they can socialize with staff and their potential forever families.
There’s even a box of toys for dogs to choose from! Lucky pups.
Jessica LaValley, the annual fund manager of the Toledo Area Humane Society, told This Dog’s Life that the Real Life Room has been a huge success: “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!” We hope more shelters create relaxation rooms to help out their resident pups.
To learn more about Toledo Area Humane Society and to see all their potential adoptees, visit their official website.
All image source: Toledo Humane Society/Facebook