D.C. residents now have the chance to bring a shelter dog home and spend time with it, thanks to the “Happy Hour” program launched by the Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA).
Signing up as a volunteer or foster with the shelter is enough for you to be allowed to take a dog home for a couple of hours, following an introduction to your new four-legged friend.
“Take a dog home for a few hours to give them a break from shelter life to lower their stress levels and improve their overall well-being,” the HRA website says in its description of the program.
Speaking to WTOP, Jennah Billeter of HRA in D.C. said “The objective of ‘Happy Hour’ is to actually give the dogs a break from the shelter, which means we want them to engage in kind of calm activities.”
Volunteers are sure taking advantage of Happy Hour, as much as dogs, as they get to spend some relaxed time with an adorable company, without having to take full time responsibility by adopting one.
Happy Hour is one of the four specialized programs offered by HRA to support vulnerable animal populations.
“In Real Life” offers volunteers the chance to learn about dogs over 40 pounds through a short two-three day stay in a foster home, while with “Safe Haven,” foster parents assist survivors of domestic violence by caring for their pet as they make arrangements for a new living situation.
Another initiative, “Humane Heroes”, allows foster parents welcome abused and neglected animals for 30 days.
“Any individual, family, or business with the compassion and willingness to help animals-in-need can serve as a foster parent. Foster terms can range from a few days or weeks to a month or more, depending on the preferences of the foster parent and the needs of the animal,” according to the HRA website.