Homeward Pet Blog

Dogs at Work Brings Wags and Woofs to Offices

With Take Your Dog to Work Day today, June 22, many companies are preparing for visits from employees’ canine pals.

Claudia Melzig, founder of DogsAtWork.Pro, always loved the presence of pups, having felt the loving companionship of dogs her whole life. It was only natural she began to foster for local animal rescues some years ago.

It was Miley, a young pit bull mix with substantial medical needs, who made herself at home with Claudia, her family, and their Vizsla, Dante—and she never left. As Dante showed Miley how to socialize with other dogs, Claudia decided to bring Miley with her to work. It was then that Claudia, a human resources professional with more than 20 years of experience, discovered firsthand the joys and benefits of dogs in the workplace.

Miley helping Claudia craft the perfect email

“It’s destressing to have an animal with you and studies have proven it increases productivity on the job,” Claudia says. “While at work , you can multitask by walking your dog while meeting with a coworker, or you can just take your dog on a short walk to take a break.” Despite a slightly furrier workplace, there are many reasons employees benefit from dogs at work, including “improved morale, increased collaboration and interaction among employees, enhanced work-life balance and lowered stress and anxiety.” The benefits don’t just reach the employees; employers can expect “increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, enhanced company culture and identity, and a greater sense of loyalty” from employees. For businesses, it’s win-win.

What some may overlook is that dogs benefit just as much as the people. Claudia reminds us, “When dogs come along to work instead of staying at home, they don’t spend so much time alone. You don’t have to rush back home after work. It makes taking care of a dog and having a full-time job a little bit easier.”

Inspired by Miley’s on-the-job visits, Claudia started DogsAtWork.Pro to help companies become dog-friendly workplaces. There are several steps to welcoming canine companions to the workplace, like pet-proofing the work area, setting canine behavior standards, writing policies and communication plans, and training employees. Each business requires a different approach depending on a variety of factors, such as company culture, employee comfort with animals, and office set up. Once Claudia has completed her customized plan, she will continue to provide ongoing support, which can range from continued enhancements to the program, conducting employee satisfaction surveys, or even provide vaccine reminders.

Claudia, Miley, and Dante

Claudia’s personal goal, she says, is to help more dogs get adopted by helping companies become dog-friendly workplaces.

The logic is simple. “If more people are able to bring their dogs into work and not have to worry about them alone at home, they’re more likely to adopt a dog,” she says. “I would love more dogs to be adopted from shelters like Homeward Pet and join their humans at work, embracing the bond between people and dogs.”

Homeward Pet holds a special place in Claudia’s heart: “Homeward Pet has shown me the caring love and unconditional support they provide to animals in need. You feel like part of a family of animal lovers there.”

Learn more about Dogs at Work. 

Hector Searches for His Home

There are two immediately striking things about Hector: his big ears and just how much he wants to cuddle.
 
“He’s transformed into such a great dog,” says Lara, a member of Homeward Pet’s Dog Behavior team. “He loves to snuggle and get in your lap. You could get satellite TV from those ears!” Each week, members of the Dog and Cat Behavior Teams meet with our resident animals like Hector in need of some extra mental stimulation or training.
 
Working with animals with behavior challenges is so rewarding, Lara says, because you get to be a part of the “huge team effort” to help these dogs gain self-confidence and skills needed to be successful in adopters’ homes. When Hector arrived, he didn’t know any commands or cues. Now, Lara makes a point to work with him each week on cues like “Sit” and “Touch.” Hector has really taken to training, and it’s rewarding to see improvement from week to week.
 
“He’s come such a long way from when he first arrived,” Lara says. “Seeing that is just the best feeling in the world.”

Hector show off his ears for his staff pick photo

Our Behavior Team’s efforts to set Hector up for success are paying off. When Levi, a Homeward Pet Adoption Counselor, took Hector home for a night for a break from the shelter, he made himself right at home in the new environment—and especially loved burrowing into the blankets on Levi’s bed. Though he tends to be slightly more timid with new places at the shelter, Hector was immediately warm and affectionate at Levi’s home, thanks in part to the confidence he’s gained working with our Behavior Team.
 
Lara isn’t the only person who seeks out Hector’s kennel when she arrives at Homeward Pet.
 
“Hector and I have really bonded since I arrived at Homeward Pet,” Levi says, “and I wanted to return the love by giving him the opportunity to sleep on a bed and have someone to cuddle with all night.”
 
We’re sure there’s an adopter out there looking for a cuddle bug like Hector. Could that be you?
 

 

With a Little Bit of Pixie Dust

“Do you want to pet one of the softest cats in the world?”

That’s how Megan, a Homeward Pet Adoption Counselor, describes Tinkerbell—and, once you scratch her behind the ears, you’ll know it’s the truth.

Megan felt drawn to Tinkerbell as soon as she arrived at Homeward Pet, nearly four months ago. “I mean, her name is Tinkerbell,” Megan laughs. “That draws you right in. You have to get to know the cat named Tinkerbell.”

But as Megan has spent more time with the extra-soft cat—cuddling, bonding over Tinkerbell’s love of batting at feather toys—she’s made a special place in her heart for Tinkerbell, and makes sure to visit her each time she has the chance. Tinkerbell even has an unusual way of greeting Megan.

“My favorite thing that she does is when I put my face up to hers, she just smashes her face right into mine,” Megan says. “She’s normally pretty quiet, but always perks up and greets me when I visit her.”

Tinkerbelll’s patented “face smush” greeting.

What Megan can’t figure out is why Tinkerbell has been with us at Homeward Pet for so long. “She’s going to be such an easy cat to take care of,” Megan says. “She’s really affectionate and I could see her cuddling with her people all night.”

Part of the reason might be because Tinkerbell is nervous for first impressions. “When she goes into the meet-and-greet room to meet an adopter,” Megan says, “it seems like she gets overwhelmed by all the smells and she gets anxious.” Because of that, adopters haven’t taken a chance on bringing the lovely tabby lady home, but it’s only a matter of time before Tinkerbell catches the eye of the right adopter.

Megan hopes that Tinkerbell can find a person willing to patiently let her settle into their home. If it weren’t for Megan’s particular cat, Macadamia—who can be picky when making new feline friends—she may have given Tinkerbell a home already.

“I think she would be happiest if she had a quiet home with a window to perch on,” Megan says.

From June 27 to July 1, all adult cats (2+ years old) like Tinkerbell will have their adoption fees waived. Tinkerbell is just one of the amazing cats part of House Cats on the House adoption promotion!

Come visit us and meet Tinkerbell in person today.

June is Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month!

Paws, purrs, and whiskers, oh my! June is Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month! Come meet our fantastic felines—whether you’re looking for a playful buddy to play laser tag with or a gentle senior to curl up with you and your Netflix queue, our adoption counselors will help you on your search for a lifelong furry companion who’s right for you.

Keep an eye on our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn) in the coming weeks for exclusive interviews and photo shoots with our whiskered residents.

 

To celebrate this happy month of making matches and saving lives, we have two events coming up:

 

 


3rd Annual Fur Baby Shower
Saturday, June 16 | 10:30 am – 12:30 pm | MoltenWorks Glass Studio

April showers bring May flowers and June brings our own kitten shower! On Saturday, June 16th, you’ll have the chance to help kittens in need—and cuddle with them, too! We’ll provide the family-friendly activities and games, light refreshments, and curious kittens; please bring a donation of food or supplies to help us provide a safe haven for the nearly 500 kittens we’ll take care of this year.

Learn more about what our kittens need most and event details.

 

 

 

 


House Cats on the House
Wednesday, June 27 – Sunday, July 1 | Homeward Pet Adoption Center

Of course, we want to shower all of our cats—not just kittens—with the chance for a good home. Sometimes overlooked during kitten season, our adult cats (2+ years) have just as much love to give and snuggling to do. For five days, we’re waiving all adult cat adoption fees.

Take a peek at our available cats and see who will make your home complete!

Contact Information
Adoption Hours:
Phone:
Our Address:
Wed - Sun, 12 - 6pm
425.488.4444
P.O. Box 2293
13132 NE 177th Place
Woodinville, WA 98072
Homeward Pet Adoption Center is a non‑profit, no‑kill animal shelter. Our mission is to give homeless animals a second chance through rescue, shelter, and adoption.
Due to a remodeling project in our dog room, we will not be showing or adopting out dogs on Saturday, June 23. We will be open for cat adoptions as usual. We apologize for any inconvenience.
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