Local businesses, community organizations, senior centers and families are invited to host dogs, cats, puppies and kittens during the holidays.
The Humane Society for Southwest Washington will have Cuddle Squads available to visit sites in the area Wednesday, Dec. 16, and Thursday, Dec. 17.
“Holidays can be a stressful time,” said Sam Ellingson, outreach and strategic partnership coordinator for the HSSW. “People are working hard and making shopping lists. They need time to relax and take a break.”
The visits with four to six animals will be by donation to the Humane Society, 15 minutes for $200, 30 minutes for $300 and one-hour for $600.
“Offices give generously during the holidays,” Ellingson said.
The one-hour donors are guaranteed visits and will include two Cuddle Squads.
The HSSW staff and volunteers will bring hot cocoa and cookies for people and blankets and toys for the animals.
“It will be something that will wrap a nice little bow on the holidays,” Ellingson said, regarding the mobile cuddling unit. “We love to see people’s faces light up with excitement and joy.”
Ellingson said he and Denise Barr, vice president of marketing for the HSSW, were involved in creative brainstorming in the spring when they started discussing the Cuddle Squad concept.
They had read about a similar activity occurring in Japan with cafes offering opportunities to pet cats, and the Uber transportation network company providing kittens to cuddle in some of its rides, upon request.
Applications to become eligible to host a Cuddle Squad are available at www.southwesthumane.org/engage/events/cuddle-squad and must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, Dec. 4.
All applicants will be notified by Dec. 9, and visits will be scheduled according to location. Donations from approved applicants must be received by Saturday, Dec. 12.
The Humane Society for Southwest Washington is located at 1100 N.E. 192nd Ave., Vancouver. The adoption center and shelter are open Tuesday through Sunday, from noon to 6 p.m.
For more information, call 693-4746.