Whether a new owner or a seasoned veteran, adopting a homeless pet is always a rewarding and enjoyable experience for people who love animals. While people looking to adopt a new best friend often turn to local shelters or the internet, hotels are also getting in on the action. One such pet adoption program is Bleau Adopts at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, which connects deserving potential pets to team members.
Brooke Soffer, vice president of retail for the Fontainebleau, says, “The more we can help spread the word about how deserving these animals are and how many animals are in need of a loving home, the better. It’s our way of giving back to a very worthy cause.”
Soffer would bring her pets to the Fontainebleau while she worked, and she noticed staff morale lifted when there were dogs on-site. Soffer one day decided to bring in an adoptable dog from the Human Society of Greater Miami for the day. Soffer says, “It took less than an hour for one of our employees to adopt the very deserving dog. Over the next few weeks, I worked with various rescue groups, and every week we found a dog that we brought in. Hence, Bleau Adopts was born.”
The ready-to-adopt animals are selected from participating rescues and can be adopted right after their hotel visit. From there, the Fontainebleau’s social media team gathers pictures, records, and a short biography about the furry friend to send to the staff. When the dog arrives to the Fontainebleau, a team member chaperones the dog and introduces him or her to staff members and guests. The adoption process then continues through the rescue organization.
“Over the years, I have established relationships with many animal welfare groups, both locally and nationally.” Soffer says, “There are so many groups in our community working very hard to find orphaned animals their own forever homes, and offering them a chance to find a home for one of their ‘residents’ is an easy program for them to participate in.”
Since welcoming adoptable dogs into the hotel, the Fontainebleau has had nearly a dozen successful adoptions, including one by director of training and performance Kenny Martinez. Although not looking to adopt, when he met bulldog/terrier mix Wilson, Martinez almost immediately decided to give Wilson a home. Additionally, because the goal of Bleau Adopts is to find deserving animals homes, anyone who visits the hotel, including guests, can adopt through the program.
Seeing the joy the initiative has brought to both guests and employees, Bleau Adopts hopes to grow in the future. Prior to the adoption program, guests staying at the Fontainebleau were offered complimentary return-to dog tags and oceanfront dog park access. While both of those amenities are still offered in addition to Bleau Adopts, Soffer says, “There are so many homeless and abandoned animals living in shelters and foster homes that the Fontainebleau is honored to do its part to help.”