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Florida Staycations


People from all over the world travel to Florida for our beaches, attractions and restaurants. How lucky are we residents, able to enjoy the world’s playground all year round? More businesses are becoming dog friendlier, not just dog friendly, by offering special amenities just for dogs. For instance, the TradeWinds Island Grand on St. Pete Beach has an on-site, fenced-in Pet Play Zone. With so many destinations to choose from, it’s this kind of attention to detail that helps us discern which Florida staycation we’ll


take next with our dogs. Take for example the extra attention paid to dogs at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Omni Amelia Island and White Dog Plantation in Havana.


Fontainebleau Miami Beach Launches Bleau Adopts.


The Fontainebleau Miami Beach is a hotel for dogs and the resort has really put their best paw forward. Bleau Adopts is their new adoption program the company implemented as a way to help shelter dogs find their forever homes. The initia- tive, created by Brooke Soffer, Vice President of Retail for the resort, invites an adoptable shelter dog to the hotel for one day each week. The dog meets employees and greets guests. So far, 12 dogs have been adopted.


and greeting guests. The furry visitor wears a yellow harness that reads “ADOPT ME.” “The main purpose is to find loving homes for these ani-


mals,” said Soffer. “It’s also therapeutic for our team members and for the animals themselves. It’s still a day they are out of the shelter.” She added, “There are so many animals in our community that are in need of a loving home and I believe if people really knew how much of an issue it is, they would never con- sider purchasing a pet.” Volunteering for


Fontainebleau employee Alfred Reynoso adopted Kali after the shelter dog visited the hotel. Below, a bulletin board of employee- adopted dogs. Photos, courtesy of Fontainebleau Miami Beach.


the shelter has been something she has been doing for many years. “I pulled adoptable dogs and set up a


table to showcase them at Aventura Mall, every week.” She would talk to people on the benefits of adopting versus buy- ing a dog from a pet store. That was some 20 years ago and the program is still active. “Shelter volunteers bring about six dogs a week to the Mall,” said Soffer, who also works with Miami-Dade Animal Services.


Fontainebleau Miami Beach employee Claudia adopted Maria Bonita through the Bleau Adopts program at the resort.


The idea came to Soffer when she brought a Chihuahua


named Diego to the hotel. He was an adoptable from the Humane Society of Greater Miami. After an employee fell in love with Diego and adopted him, Soffer brought six other adoptables from the shelter to the hotel. When all six were adopted, she knew she was on to something. Each week, prior to the dog’s Thursday visit, Soffer’s team,


all dog lovers, develops a profile on the dog and sends out a company-wide email to their 1500 employees. Accompanied by Soffer or someone from her team, the dog is walked around the resort, interacting with employees


68 THE NEW BARKER www.TheNewBarker.com


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