NAPLES, Fla.- From the shelter to the storefront, some homeless pets are finding new digs in an unexpected place: the mall!
"People come in, they're already shopping. They feel comfortable. They see the puppies and kittens in the windows and it draws them in," said Naples Humane Society Adoption Specialist Sarah Caovert.
But these pooches aren't being sold for profit. They've all transferred from the Naples Humane Society. The brand-new Satellite Adoption Center at the Coastland Mall is their spin on taking the stigma away from pound puppies.
"We wanted to find new homes for homeless pets. So we thought at the mall we have a different clientele. People that normally don't come to the shelter," Patrice Worcester of the Naples Humane Society.
The Humane Society's new storefront is the former site of a traditional pet store. But before moving in, it made some renovations to make pets stay more comfortable. They removed confining cage walls and added fenced-in play space.
"We opened up all the walls through 5 different cages, so they can run back and forth. So we can put several animals together so they socialize, as well as get some exercise," Worcester said.
So far, the outreach effort is getting overwhelming results, with 26 homeless dogs and cats finding forever homes in less than one week.
"We had a cat that had been at the shelter for 3 weeks, no one had looked at it. We brought it over here and the perfect person, it was just their perfect cat. They'd never been to our main shelter," Worcester said.
The Naples Humane Society's Satellite Adoption Center is located in the Coastland Mall close to Sears. They're open Monday-Saturday from 10-9 pm, and Sunday from 12-6 pm.