Author: Jeff Alexander
Dec. 7, 2018
An Ashwaubenon no-kill animal shelter is embarking on an exciting new program at its animal sanctuary in Marion.
People looking to adopt will soon have the opportunity for an overnight stay with their prospective pet.
At Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary in Marion, volunteers provide dogs with daily love and compassion. And thanks to students at NWTC, and a partnership with the college, the dogs will soon have some visitors.
"We brought three little cottages out to the Marion sanctuary, and they're right around 400 square feet. Two of them are designed for overnight guest experiences for people to be able to come and spend time at the sanctuary on an overnight basis," says Marcus Reitz, Happily Ever After Branding & Development Director.
It will allow families a chance to really get to know the dog or cat.
"Coming out to spend a night with a prospective pet and experience them in a true home-like environment," Reitz said. "Because this is a place of rehabilitation and sanctuary, not every animal is suited for the adoption center environment. It might be too stressful, might be too loud, might be fear of men or fear of other dogs or the public, and all those pieces kind of ad up to create a stressful environment from time to time."
"I think it's going to be a game-changer for these animals, because some of these dogs they're not going to show well in a normal meet and greet setting. They're going to be nervous. They're going to be shy. Here you'll see a little bit more of the personality of the dog that you're going to get when you bring it home," adds Michelle Diederich, Happily Ever After AmeriCorps member volunteer.
Since its founding in 2006, Happily Ever After has placed more than 4,000 pets in loving homes.
Reitz feels the cottages will make that number grow faster.
"Pictures are going to get snapped, videos are going to get shared, stories will be told, and we're certain that we're going to be able to further impact lives that are otherwise at risk because we'll be able to by virtue of being able to open our doors up to other animals because animals are going out," says Reitz.