Slumber PAWties; Helping Rescues While Snuggling

Slumber parties bring back fond memories of getting together with your best friends, putting on a movie and maybe even playing a board game or two. This nostalgic pastime probably brings up happy memories of stress-relieving fun… fun that you can now share with the rescues, thanks to our Slumber PAWties program! Slumber PAWties are a great way to help rescues relax, unwind and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the shelter. In some cases, it can even help them find their FURever home!

How can short-term fostering, like a Slumber PAWty, help a rescue?

As a kid, you may remember slumber parties feeling like an escape from your home or an epic adventure with friends. For rescues, this is also true!

“Sleepovers may act much like weekends to our workweek. They don’t make all our stress go away, but allow us to rest and recharge, before facing the next week.” ~ Lisa Gunter, MA, CPDT-KA, a doctoral candidate at Arizona State University.

From a 2019 study done by the Arizona State University Department of Psychology and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University’s Department of Animal and Poultry services, short-term foster programs, or foster sleepover programs like our Slumber PAWties, can help decrease cortisol levels in dogs.

Cortisol is often used to measure a dog’s stress in an environment like a shelter. Prior studies have found that spending time with humans is one way to reduce this measure of canine stress. Even just 30-minutes of time with a human has been shown to have a very calming effect on our furry friends. Cortisol levels in pets can even be reduced when rescues are simply in the same room with humans. Now, just imagine what two whole nights with you can do!

A more recent study by Maddie’s Fund found that cortisol drops significantly for rescues during an overnight stay. While these levels often rise upon their return, studies have found that just a few short days away can result in a rescue having an easier time resting in a shelter, which can also help them get adopted!

How can this help rescues get adopted?

Simply put… rescues who have just returned from a short-term foster are less stressed. When they feel less stressed, they’re more likely to show off their FURtastic personalities when potential adopters stop by to see them. As previously mentioned, rescues who have had a night away tend to sleep better once they return (and we all know how much more alive we feel after a good night’s rest!).

Finally, when you host a Slumber PAWty or short-term foster experience,  you’ll often find that you’re able to better understand an animal’s personality. This one-on-one time is a great way to learn more about the rescue’s needs and discover whether or not they would be a good fit for your family.

What is needed for a Slumber PAWty?

For those who are new to the HSNEGA Foster Program, the Department of Agriculture first requires potential fosters to complete a home inspection. Once completed and approved, all that is required by the host is a minimum of 2-nights for your sleepover adventure to take place! All other supplies and items are provided by HSNEGA. Please note, only fully vaccinated adult animals are available for sleepovers.

How do I sign up?

For more information on the HSNEGA Slumber PAWties program or to sign-up and give our rescues a much-needed break, visit



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At HSNEGA, we want to remember the amazing rescues that come to stay with us. All of the animals pictured on this site have been with us at some point. Some have already found their forever homes, but some may still be here at HSNEGA! The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization (Federal Tax ID #58-0678817) and has received top recognition from the following charity rating organizations:

Best of Georgia, GreatNonProfit & GuideStar Seals