Inside the First-of-Its-Kind Animal Shelter That Gives People a Place to Play, Too!
At the Best Friends Pet Resource Center in Arkansas, each dog and cat has a foster family who takes them home each night. Says the CEO: "This is a new future for the way that we relate to rescue animals"
At the newly opened Best Friends Resource Center in Bentonville, Arkansas, dogs play together in open areas, cats greet visitors with cuddles and each night animals go home with their foster families.
"It's about the enrichment and happiness of these animals while they look for a forever home," Best Friends Animal Society CEO Julie Castle tells PEOPLE of the first-of-its-kind shelter, an airy, 20,000-sq.-ft. building that boasts a coffee shop, a slide, a pet food bank and a veterinary clinic.
Community members are invited to come visit —"Have a moment of zen with a furry friend and a cup of coffee," says Castle — or drop in for educational programs with their adopted pets. They can even take yoga at the shelter.
Says Castle: "This is a new future for the way that we relate to rescue animals."
During the day, foster families are welcome to drop the dogs off for hours of supervised playtime where they can learn socialization skills.
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"Basically, it's like doggy daycare," says Castle.
Cats, meanwhile, can keep busy by exploring cubby holes and walking freely around the facility.
Some 13,000 dogs and cats each year are expected to visit friendly quarters from other shelters — with the hopes of finding loving forever homes.
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"It really is time to innovate," Castle says of the American animal shelter system. "Pets are part of our families, and this is an extension of that."
To learn more, visit bestfriends.org/nwa.
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Read the original article on People.