Brandywine Valley SPCA seeks families for shelter dog holiday sleepovers

The shelter hopes that, as dogs enjoy the holidays in the comfort of foster homes, it can gain insights that will help the animals find forever families.

Frosted Flakes the dog stands on a Barker Bed next to a Christmas tree

Frosted Flakes, via the BVSPCA's New Castle campus. (Brandywine Valley SPCA)

Holiday sleepovers are back at the Brandywine Valley SPCA.

The sleepovers, effectively short-term foster arrangements, involve a dog staying with a family from Thursday, Dec. 24 through Sunday, Jan. 3.

The initiative began in 2018 and resulted in more than 30 homeless pets spending the holidays with families. The program’s 2019 iteration expanded to 108 animals. Of the dogs and cats BVSPCA sent out, 76 were adopted by either the foster family or someone in their personal network — a whopping 70%.

This year, BVSPCA is focusing on the shelter’s most overlooked dogs, as the pandemic has proved to be a boon for adoptions. Currently, adoptions there are up 25% over this time last year.

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Linda Torelli, marketing director for the BVSPCA, calls the candidate dogs “wonderful companions” who may be overlooked for one reason or another.

“They might be a little older, they might want to be an only pet, or they may be stressed in the kennels and not show their best,” shelter officials said in a statement, but “they’re all deserving of love.”

The nonprofit hopes that, as the dogs enjoy the holidays in the comfort of foster homes, they can gain insights — and some prime dog content — that will help the animals find forever families after the holidays.

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Each dog will be sent to a foster home with a Big Barker Bed, courtesy of the program’s sponsor. The BVSPCA cites a PennVet Veterinary Clinical Investigations Center study that showed the Big Barker Bed was clinically proven to alleviate the pain and stiffness big dogs can suffer from due to arthritis and joint deterioration.

Those interested in opening their homes for the holidays can sign up online.



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