Some of Nina De La Rosa’s wedding guests complained, as wedding guests are wont to do.
These complaints weren’t about bland food or loud bands — they were about De La Rosa not having given advance notice that there would be adoptable dogs from a local animal shelter, at the reception.
For a donation, the shelter will bring kittens and puppies over to your workplace — or, wedding — for folks to coo over and cuddle the critters.
De La Rosa and her now-husband are animal lovers, who thought a Snuggle Delivery at their wedding would be a lot of fun — and boy were they right.
“We did receive some complaints from our out-of-town guest about not previously informing them about it, so they could have made arrangements to take one home,” De La Rosa says.
The pets are all adoptable — either on the spot, or, note to wedding guests, later, back at the shelter.
Andrea Silverberg, who has a great job title: Snuggle Coordinator, says that Snuggle Deliveries often have that wonderful end.
“Since launching the snuggle program in March 2015, we have had many adoptions,” Silverberg tells Shelter Me. “We did a snuggle delivery at the Hard Rock Casino for their employees and all nine pets were adopted that day. It was a very rewarding day.”
Since Snuggle Deliveries require a minimum donation of $500 for deliveries within the county, they’ll travel a bit for a little more, the shelter’s also raised a whole lot of money through this program — $25,000 so far, Silverberg says.
And, of course, there’s good to be had for the animals, too — helping them become well-socialized, and comfortable around new people and in new environments.
Snuggle Delivery also helps the community learn more about the shelter, and about adoption, Silverberg says.
“So hopefully, even if people don’t adopt, when they are ready to get a pet the first place they will think to go is the Humane Society of Broward County.”
The program has been so successful, that the shelter will soon be launching a new version of it aimed just at its blocky-headed dogs — who can be harder to place in homes, due to things like incorrect negative stereotypes and housing restrictions.
This program is called “Pit Stop,” and — as the name suggests — the shelter will bring some of its adoptable pit bull-type dogs around town for visits.
The first Pit Stop will be at a brewery in early September, and “we are not charging businesses for this program,” says Silverberg.
As for De La Rosa, she remembers Snuggle Delivery as a highlight of what was already a beautiful day.
“We are big animal lovers, and at a time when we were spending all this money for your reception, it felt great that some of the money was going towards a cause that’s near our hearts,” she says. “Plus, I cannot begin to explain how cute it is to have puppies around while in a wedding dress.”
Congratulations to the bride and groom!
And get in touch at email@example.com if you know a shelter doing innovative things, or have another animal story to share!
Featured image via Gina Häußge/Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license