Slumber Pawty Program

Pup in pjs

UPDATE! With COVID-19 we had a huge increase in foster homes thus resulting in NO dogs at our shelter! Hooray! Because of this the Slumber Pawty Program is on hold until we have animals at our shelter again.

The Gateway Pet Guardians Slumber Pawty is one of the most fun and lifesaving programs at GPG!  The concept is simple:  allow people to take a shelter dog home for a night or two (or more!) which provides the dogs with a much needed break from the stress of the shelter environment.  No matter how well run a shelter is, some dogs just don’t handle the noise and commotion well, and as a result they start to shut down or act out which can delay finding their forever famly.  Slumber Pawties act much like weekends to our human workweek. They don’t make all our stress go away, but allow us to rest and recharge, before facing the next week.  And well the people get to enjoy the companionship of a dog without the full commitment!  Plus the information we learn about the dog’s personality in a home environment is so helpful to us in finding them a forever home.   It is truly a win-win!

Our Slumber Pawty program is a year-round program, so you can literally take a shelter dog on a Slumber Pawty any day of the year, but we also try to focus our efforts to “clear the shelter” around holidays and other times of the year.  We have dogs to fit everyone’s needs, but we very rarely have small breed dogs or puppies available for Slumber Pawties and we always are in desperate need of homes that do not have other pets to host dogs who just don’t want to share their space with other animals.

Dog sleeping in dog bed

Here is how Slumber Pawties work:

  1. Review the Pre-Slumber Pawty checklist (we will review this again when you pick up your shelter pup!)
  2. Submit the Slumber Pawty application
  3. Our team will be in touch with you to help match you with a shelter dog and coordinate pickup/dropoff time
  4. You will pick the dog up from our shelter located at 5321 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110 at the agreed upon time (please don’t just show up as we may not have a dog that will meet your needs!)
  5. We will provide you with a Slumber Pawty kit including the food, leash, crate, other supplies and medication for the dog (if needed) and our 24/7 emergency hotline phone number in case you need to reach us.
  6. Enjoy your temporary guest (although adopting your Slumber Pawty guest is always encouraged!) and take cute pics and videos and share with all your friends and family.  You never know who might be in the market for a new four-legged family member!  You will also be added to our internal volunteer Facebook page, so please post pics and updates about your temporary guest there too!
  7. Return your temporary guest to the shelter and complete the Post Slumber Pawty Info Form, so we capture as much information about your Slumber Pawty guests personality and behavior in a home environment.

Here is a great article that talks about the research and benefits of programs like GPG’s Slumber Pawty program: 

 Study: Do shelter dogs benefit from short-term foster sleepovers?.

If you have any questions, please email us at