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The original item was published from 1/24/2020 9:59:04 AM to 2/1/2020 12:00:13 AM.

News Flash

County News

Posted on: January 24, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Regional Center for Animal Care and Protection Invites Public to Take Dogs on Sleepovers

Roanoke, Virginia - Our Roanoke Adventure Dog (RAD) field trip program is so popular, we are expanding to slumber parties! RCACP is proud to announce its new Pillows and Paws program, which pairs members of the community with shelter dogs for overnight sleepovers. RCACP is asking members of the community to invite a shelter dog over for a Slumber Pawty as part of a groundbreaking study of foster care that will help save the lives of homeless dogs across the country. The goal of this 100-shelter nationwide study, carried out by Arizona State University and funded by Maddie’s Fund, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, is to learn more about how fostering programs affect dogs as well as shelter staff and volunteers. We need you to participate- and all you’ll need to do is hang out with a dog through the Pillows and Paws program!

Foster programs of any length help reduce stress for dogs in kennels and provide them with enrichment and increase their visibility in the community with potential adopters. Dr. Erica Feuerbacher, Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech, explains, “We are really excited to be partnering again with the Regional Center for Animal Care and Protection in the Arizona State University/Virginia Tech Maddie’s Nationwide Fostering Study. They are one of 100 shelters nationwide that are participating to help us learn about the effects of fostering on shelter dogs and on the shelters themselves. By being part of this program, the Regional Center for Animal Care and Protection is implementing a new shelter dog sleepover program (Pillows and Paws) that will allow the shelter dogs to get a much-needed break from the shelter while they wait for their adoptive home. Additionally, the sleepover program allows the shelter to learn valuable information on the dog’s behavior that can be used to help find it the perfect adoptive home. We are thrilled to be able to work with such progressive and creative shelters as RCACP to help shelter dogs everywhere."

The Pillows and Paws program is an extension of the Roanoke Adventure Dog field trip program and allows the dogs a home experience without the noise of the shelter and a chance to have a mini-vacation.  “Our dogs have packed their overnight bags and are ready to munch on some snacks and tell ghost stories with their sleepover buddies,” states Mike Warner, Interim Executive Director.  “The R.A.D. field trip program has been so successful, that we are confident the overnight stays through Pillows and Paws will provide further enrichment opportunities and fun for the dogs and public alike.”

This program was especially designed to make participation easy.  No prior experience is needed, and participants will be provided with everything they need for a successful sleepover. Individuals interested in the Pillows and Paws program should contact Meghann Cords at 540-344-4922 or through email at  Our first sleepover event will be held the week of January 27, 2020, and we have a variety of dogs and energy levels that will fit any household.  

“Foster care is the gold standard for lifesaving and we consider foster caregivers as the VIPs,” said Mary Ippoliti-Smith, Executive Leadership Team of Maddie’s Fund. “These types of programs are a great way to connect the community with shelter pets.”

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About RCACP 

The Regional Center for Animal Care and Protection serves the City of Roanoke, the Counties of Botetourt and Roanoke, and the Town of Vinton, and is an “open intake facility.” The Regional Center primarily handles stray animals picked up by the Animal Control Officers employed by the municipalities, but also accepts strays that are found, and animals owned by citizens of the municipalities served. Each year the Regional Center receives between 4,000 and 6,000 animals. The RCACP primary goal is to return animals to their owners. Unclaimed animals may be made available for adoption or transferred to other animal welfare organizations.

About Maddie’s Fund

Maddie’s Fund® is a family foundation created in 1994 by Workday® co-founder Dave Duffield and his wife, Cheryl, who have endowed the Foundation with more than $300 million. Since then, the Foundation has awarded more than $225.7 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, shelter management leadership, shelter medicine education, and foster care across the U.S. The Duffields named Maddie’s Fund after their Miniature Schnauzer Maddie, who always made them laugh and gave them much joy. Maddie was with Dave and Cheryl for ten years and continues to inspire them today.

Maddie’s Fund is the fulfillment of a promise to an inspirational dog, investing its resources to create a no-kill nation where every dog and cat is guaranteed a healthy home or habitat. #ThanksToMaddie.

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