PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – A horse farm in Scottsdale will soon have a new use. Part of the farm will be transformed into a hotel for dogs who belong to members of the Valley's homeless population. The dog hotel will provide a safe space for homeless pet owners to leave their furry friends while they seek treatment and get back on their feet.
"One of the many barriers to them [homeless] seeking treatment or getting into housing was if they had a pet," says Terra Schaad, Executive Director of Hunkapi programs. "We knew that we could answer that call."
The “Almost Home Dog Hotel” will be located within Hunkapi Farms near 96th Street and Cactus Road in Scottsdale. Schaad says she has been in talks with the City of Phoenix and Community Bridges for more than a year and a half to make this program a reality.
"It seemed like a no-brainer. We knew we we have the community here to love and support the dogs," she said. "We're all about community here. If we can help fill a need in our community then we are going to step up and answer."
The dog hotel will be able to house 15 dogs in unused horse stalls. The goal is to provide homeless pet owners with resources to help care for their animals while they seek services and shelter.
"We can keep their dog there and they will be in safekeeping," she said. "They can be assured they'll get their dogs back once they are back on their feet."
Hunkapi Farm is mainly focused on equine therapy. But Schaad said they would notice how people would respond to foster dogs at the property. "We got to see little kids that had come from abuse and neglect showing love, receiving love, laughing."
The “Almost Home Dog Hotel” is expected to open in April.