Photo credit: Marriott International
Andy Cohen is all about fun and games on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live,” but he means business when it comes to fetching “furever” homes for dogs. The talk show host, producer, author and proud papa to rescue pup Wacha teamed with Residence Inn by Marriott and North Shore Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill shelter, for a pet adoption campaign this summer. He graciously took a break from vacation sipping rosé in the Hamptons to answer a few questions for Smart Meetings.
“Wacha is the most important thing in my life—he is my best bud and opened my heart,” Andy Cohen says of his beagle-foxhound mix who he rescued in 2013 from a West Virginia shelter. “I can’t think of a better cause to support pet adoptions and work with such a great organization like North Shore Animal League America and a pet-friendly brand like Residence Inn by Marriott.”
Cohen is based in New York City, but like many meeting professionals, he travels often for work. Before rushing to Clear the Shelters—a nationwide pet adoption drive promoted by NBC and Telemundo owned stations on August 19th—he shares some things prospective pet parents should take into consideration.
“It’s important to give your pet a healthy foundation. If you need to go out of town, make sure your pet is comfortable and happy with the person who is taking care of them. Make sure they are aware of all of your pet’s needs and can arrange everything accordingly,” he says. “Pets are family and you need to treat them as such. Pet owners know that it can be challenging to travel.”
Residence Inn by Marriott is hosting the “Dog Days of Summer” adoption series at select U.S. hotels this month in New York, Miami Beach Surfside and Washington Capitol Hill/Navy Hard. Guests and locals are encouraged to stop by for “Yappy Hour” to meet and bond with the homeless pups. Approved families can bring home a new furry friend or both person and pup can feel right at home in the hotel.
“Staying at a brand like Residence Inn by Marriott that’s pet-friendly is a huge benefit. Wacha and I didn’t get any dirty looks when we came into the lobby today. All Residence Inn hotel rooms are suites, giving owners and pets lots of room to spread out,” Cohen says. “They even have a grocery delivery service, so if you forget your pets’ favorite food, you can have it delivered right to your room.”
Although Cohen opts not to fly with his pooch, he does bring him to work regularly. Anyone who tunes in to Bravo knows that Wacha makes cameo appearances in the “WWHL” clubhouse. “It makes the meetings that much cuter,” Cohen says of his canine companion joining him in the boardroom. “He lies there and absorbs everything around him.”
If you plan to host a pet-friendly meeting, Cohen suggests having “plenty of water and a calm environment. Treats don’t hurt either.” The “Love Connection” host is hopeful that all of the adoptable four-legged friends will find their perfect matches this summer.