It’s one of the most recognizable hotels in the Dallas skyline. People come from all over the world to stay at the Hyatt Regency Dallas and one thing they love to do while there is throw coins into its fountains.
But little do they know, what they’re leaving behind is making a huge difference in the lives of shelter pets.
As travelers venture in and out of the hotel, inside its lobby, Enrique Ortiz is setting aside his normal hotel-mechanic duties to suit up and wade in to the hotel’s fountains.
It’s a seasonal cleaning process that comes with a purpose.
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“This is a way for our guests, who we want to take care of when they come into our hotel, but in turn they’re leaving a little something behind,” said Bryan King, director of sales and marketing at Hyatt Regency Dallas.
Guests like Mary Jones, from South Dakota, toss in their coins with a smile.
“That’s all I got,” she said.
She’s one of countless people donating their spare change to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas.
They’re coins that Ortiz is tasked with collecting.
Just beneath the surface, it’s an underwater treasure hunt made possible by a pool vacuum that’s slowly sucking up currency.
“Pennies for puppies, yes!” said Katie Clements, manager of corporate partnerships for SPCA of Texas, with a laugh.
Clements said all of the donations to the Hyatt Regency Dallas’ fountains will help local pets.
As an example, the SPCA of Texas team brought two 8-week-old terrier-Chihuahua puppies, Bruce and Trooper, to the pet-friendly hotel.
“These animals do need our help and it takes a lot of work and a lot of resources to go out and bring them out of those horrible situations and rehabilitate them,” Clements said.
After an hour of cleaning one fountain, Ortiz collected a bounty of pocket change. And when it comes to donations, every penny certainly counts.
“Each year, we collect about $2,000-3,000 from our fountain that our guests leave behind,” King said.
People from all over the world are using this hotel fountain as a wishing well; this time, it’s wishing a local pet will see a better tomorrow.
“So stop by, even if you’re just visiting Reunion Tower, cut through the lobby of the Hyatt on the way and leave some of your change behind,” King said.
Bruce and Trooper would certainly appreciate your support.
The SPCA of Texas is getting ready for its big fundraiser, Fur Ball, which will celebrate the organization's 80th anniversary.
The event is at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas on Sept. 22, 2018. The Honorary Chairs are former President George W. Bush, former first lady Laura Bush. NBC 5 anchor, and proud Clear the Shelters host, Brian Curtis, is the event’s emcee.