December 14, 2015 Written by

The problem conceals itself behind a veil in the typical human community. Civilized life appears to move briskly, the inhabitants tending to important priorities and focusing on matters in plain view. But it’s the small faces in the cold shadows that often go unnoticed – the animals, abandoned, neglected, abused, lost.

The Park on Main®, the pet-friendly hotel in Highlands, North Carolina, entered into a partnership with the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society earlier this year to help address the area’s pet problems. While the luxury hotel has hosted two dogs so far in the foster pet program, organizers said the long-range implications of this type of partnership are beneficial in several ways.

The obvious is previously abandoned pets get adopted into families. A 9-year-old Mountain Cur, The Park on Main®’s first foster pet, was adopted last May. Its second, a 6-year-old Box-Retriever-Labrador mix, was adopted last October.

The second benefit is educational and promotional. Guests – or business patrons – ask questions about the foster pets and learn more how the problem affects both the human and animal communities.

An additional benefit overlay the first two. Local humane societies are able to extend their efforts with local businesses providing the additional outreach.

That’s the model that has been established between The Park on Main® and Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society. Earlier this year, the hotel’s general manager, Michael Hammond, had begun envisioning a partnership with the humane society. In Hammond’s mind, the partnership would serve to bridge the gap for pets needing homes and public awareness. Hammond contacted David Stroud, the humane society’s executive director and chairman of the North Carolina Animal Federation. That’s where Clyde’s story begins.

Business-humane society partnership helps pet problems

Local Humane Society Sends Clyde to The Park on Main®

Clyde, The Park on Main®’s first foster pet, was found roaming the Panthertown Valley last summer and brought to the humane society. Employees at the humane society were impressed with the stray’s demeanor: They described him as sweet, loving, affectionate and loyal, which made his situation even more unusual.

He had no collar, identification tags or identifying microchip to allow the humane society to return him to his owner. Traditionally, the fate of abandoned pets is not always comfortable or ideal – so the beloved canine’s long stay at the humane society became heart wrenching for those who interacted with him. Considering Clyde’s gentle nature, humane society workers found the dog’s apparent abandonment puzzling.

With Clyde in mind, Stroud responded to Hammond’s query: The humane society “would be honored to be your partner moving forward.”

“The Park on Main® is absolutely beautiful, first-class and the most amazing pet-friendly hotel I have ever seen. I believe Clyde would not only thoroughly enjoy his stay with you, I feel that he would find his perfect forever family from among the animal-loving guests at your hotel. And not only would we be doing a remarkable thing for Clyde, our partner program will reap benefits to both of our organizations.”

A couple months later, Clyde was on his way to his “fur-ever” home.

Humane society partnership with local businesses help animals

National Humane Society Promotes Partnerships

The Humane Society of the United States encourages partnerships with business “that share our vision of a more humane society. Our corporate supporters help increase our reach through activities that … promote our mission – giving consumers more ways to support our cause.”

As the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization, the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates help more than 100,000 animals each year.

For more information about the ongoing partnership between The Park on Main® and the humane society, call Hammond at 828-526-4502 or go to

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About The Park on Main

The Park on Main hotel is located in the quaint village of Highlands, North Carolina, a picturesque mountain retreat nestled in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. A boutique style hotel, the Park on Main offers 24 luxury suites, each facing an exquisitely landscaped central park-like garden terrace.

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