Ohio Shelter Is Giving Dogs Short-Term Homes for the Holidays With Its "Sleepover" Program

iStock/Bogdan Kurylo
iStock/Bogdan Kurylo

The holiday season is often dubbed as “the most wonderful time of the year,” and one Ohio dog shelter is doing what it can to make that true for its resident pups. Through the end of the year, the Franklin County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center in Columbus is offering pet-loving families the chance to host a three-day “Holiday Sleepover” with a homeless pet over the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and/or New Year’s Day holidays.

Though the facility has caretakers onsite to feed and walk their adoptable dogs during the holidays, the shelter itself is closed—meaning that these doggos’ interactions with loving humans will be limited.

In addition to giving these homeless pets all the head pats and belly scratches they can handle, the Holiday Sleepover program gives the shelter a chance to test out what sort of environment might be best suited to each pet when it comes time to finding their forever home.

After three days of gratis puppy kisses, all shelter asks of prospective Sleepover participants is that they share any details about the experience. “We give them a little report card to fill out to get a little more information on the dog than what we had before and we're hoping that will help them get adopted a lot quicker,” shelter director Kaye Dickson told KMBC News. "It's just such a happier environment for these dogs to be in a home versus being stuck in a cage.”

Of course, the ultimate hope is that sleepover hosts won't want to part with their furry new friends. "We're hoping these host families fall in love with the animals as well and they may definitely adopt them," Dickson said. Think of it as a sort of canine test drive—but with a lot more licks.

Even if you’re not in a position to adopt a dog at the moment, you can feel good about giving the little guy a holiday to remember. Visit the shelter's website to learn more about the program. And if you don't live near Columbus, but love the idea of having an adorable pooch take part in your annual tree-trimming party, contact some shelters in your own area to see if they offer any similar programs. Many do.

A Nubian Goat Named Lincoln Was Just Sworn in as the Mayor of Fair Haven, Vermont

iStock.com/Evgeniia Khmelnitskaia
iStock.com/Evgeniia Khmelnitskaia

Lincoln the goat may not be housebroken, but she had no problem winning the race for mayor of Fair Haven, Vermont. The new mayor was officially sworn in on Tuesday, March 12, and before signing the oath of office with her hoof print, she marked the occasion by defecating on the town hall floor, the Boston Globe reports.

Prior to getting into politics, Lincoln the droopy-eared Nubian goat lived a simple life. A local family looking for a way to maintain the unruly vegetation on their property had purchased her two years ago when she was 1 year old. At age 3, Lincoln transitioned from munching grass full-time to running for public office.

Though Lincoln's win is impressive, her election didn't involve beating any human candidates. Town Manager Joseph Gunter came up with the idea to hold an election for honorary pet mayor of Fair Haven as way to raise money for a new playground. For a $5 fee, local kids were allowed to nominate the pet of their choice to be town mayor. Lincoln bested more than a dozen candidates, including a gerbil named Crystal and a pacifier-sucking dog named Stella, for the position.

The stunt didn't raise much money—the town came away with just $100 for the playground—but it did earn Fair Haven international attention. In order to go down in history as world's longest-serving animal mayor, Lincoln has to stick around for a while; Stubbs the cat was mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska for 20 years.

[h/t Boston Globe]

The 10 Most Popular Puppy Names of 2019

iStock.com/Lakshmi3
iStock.com/Lakshmi3

If you brought home a new dog or puppy recently and named it Luna, you’re far from the only one. The name, which means moon in Latin, is the most popular puppy name for 2019.

This analysis of cute canine monikers comes from Trupanion, a provider of medical insurance for pets. The company looked at its database of 500,000 dogs and crunched the numbers to identify the names that are currently having a moment. (Although some of the names that cracked the top 10 list, like Daisy and Max, have been around for quite some time.)

Interestingly, Luna wasn’t always popular. As Trupanion points out, “Looking back 10 years, Luna was barely a blip on the name game chart … not even cracking the list of top 20 names.” Nor did it appear on ​Banfield Pet Hospital's list of the 10 most popular dog names of 2018.

Often, there's some overlap between popular pet names and baby names. Luna was the 31st most popular baby name for girls in 2018. This is perhaps linked to the popularity of the Harry Potter character Luna Lovegood, as well as the publicity the name has received in recent years from celebrities like John Legend and Chrissy Teigen and Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem, as both couples named their daughters Luna.

Second on the list of popular puppy names is Bella (its longer form, Isabella, was the fifth most popular baby name for girls last year). Check out the top 10 list below to see if your pooch’s name is trending right now.

1. Luna
2. Bella
3. Charlie
4. Bailey
5. Lucy
6. Cooper
7. Max
8. Daisy
9. Bear
10. Oliver

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