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Slumber Buddies

The City of Bloomington Animal Care and Control is excited to add a new program in 2020 called Slumber Buddies! Slumber Buddies is a short term fostering sleepover program for the public who reside within Monroe County and adult shelter dogs.  Sleepovers are quickly becoming known as a great way to find reduce kennel stress and get better information on a dog’s behavior. Sleepovers are helpful in marketing dogs for adoption, as potential adopters want to know what a dog looks and acts like outside of their kennel and the opportunity for creative photography, videography and stories is increased. We are happy to receive ongoing assistance training from Maddie's Fund to get this program started.  BACC is partnering with Maddie’s Fund Nationwide Fostering Study Research Team at Arizona State University & Virginia Tech to help facilitate and evaluate short term fostering and field trips in animal shelters. We have chosen the name "Slumber Buddies" for our sleepover program, and hope to add a field trip program in the near future!

We are joining a nationwide trend:

A 2018 study of the field trip program at Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS) found that dogs on field trips were happier, more relaxed, more playful and calmer than dogs in the shelter. Dogs on field trips showed less nervousness, anxiousness, insecurity, barking, shaking/trembling and repetitive behaviors such as jumping.  With 350 field trips occurring during the study and 70+ dogs finding homes as a direct result of their field trips, 20% of field trips led directly to a dog’s adoption. LMAS’s field trip program specifically targets dogs that are suffering from kennel stress and are at risk for euthanasia; during the study period, LMAS cut the number of dogs euthanized for behavior in half.

Overall goals of the program

  • To engage with the community in a fun, new way 
  • To increase the number of people who can participate in all types of foster care
  • To increase the number of long-term fosters
  • To increase adoptions of medium and large dogs due to increased information on the dogs’ behavior outside the shelter and more marketing material
  • To help lower stress levels for all dogs at the shelter
  • To increase enrichment for our organization’s dogs


What to expect at your Slumber Buddies dog pickup appointment:

  • Please bring photo ID, you must be 18 years of age
  • Bring cellular phone that we will make sure the shelter is a contact on, and accepting calls
  • Your questions
  • An open mind and heart
  • Be prepared to take the dog home for TWO nights, barring emergencies
  • BACC will provide a Slumber Buddies Slumber Party Pack of all the things your slumber Buddy will need during their stay!  


 Program guidelines

  • Please do not bring pets to your pickup appointment
  • All Slumber Buddies-eligible dogs are 6 months of age and older
  • If you require a dog under 25lbs, please contact us 24hrs prior to your sleepover to ensure we have an appropriate dog to set aside for you; most of our shelter dogs are medium to large sized.
  • We require that the shelter dog be kept separate from other animals in the home for the duration of the sleepover, to ensure the health and safety of your resident animals

Thanks for wanting to be a part of this life saving program.  We look forward to working together to help shelter dogs in a new and exciting way. 


For More Information about sleepovers and field trips: