Daytona Beach, Florida, is known both for NASCAR and the beach from which it takes its name. While tourists enjoy sightseeing and swimming in the ocean, the homeless pets of the area are still just looking for a safe place to sleep. With the help of two great local animal shelters, many of these homeless animals are getting a second chance.
The Arni Foundation is a no-kill animal shelter in Daytona Beach that not only takes in dogs from the Daytona Beach area, but also from across the United States and around the world. The Arni Foundation mainly focuses on the “lost causes” that other shelters refuse to take in or save. The organization only takes in animals that are about to be euthanized or are from cruelty and abuse cases. Since its inception more than 15 years ago, the Arni Foundation has rescued more than 20,000 animals! The shelter can house about 100 animals at a time and usually adopts out 100 animals a month.
The Halifax Humane Society was founded in 1937 in Volusia County, Florida, which is part of the Great Daytona Beach area. As a non-profit organization, the Halifax Humane Society runs on fundraisers and donations from the public, but it still manages to care for over 25,000 animals each year. At any given time, the shelter can house up to 350 animals, and it is usually full. The Halifax Humane Society has an open-door policy, meaning that it takes in every pet that comes through its doors.
If you are looking to adopt a pet in the Daytona Beach area, consider visiting one of these two animals shelters to find your newest family member.
Each April, the Halifax Humane Society hosts the Mutt Strutt on the Beach, a 5k fun-run and walk-a-thon that raises money for the organization. Get a group together, leash up your dogs, and hit the beach! After the run, stick around for live music, a raffle, a costume contest, and vendor booths.
There are two options for registration. If you want a t-shirt, raffle ticket, and drink, sign up for the Registration Package. Advanced Registration Package tickets are $25, but the price goes up to $30 the day of. General admission is $5 in advance and $10 on the day of, but a $25 donation is suggested.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. the morning of at the Daytona Beach Bandshell, and the run starts at 9 a.m.
Get ready for the most exciting dog event in Florida! The Mardi Gras on MainStreet Dog Parade and Festival takes place around Mardi Gras each year. The Krewe of Amalee hosts the Mardi Gras event in true New Orleans fashion. Dress up your pup in an outfit that matches the theme for the year and hit the street!
The parade starts at 11 a.m., but afterwards, there is live music, food, and activities until 3 p.m. It takes place on Main Street in DeLand, Florida, which is about 30 minutes southwest of Daytona Beach.
Registration prices vary, so check back closer to the event for exact pricing.
You may have to drive an hour from Daytona Beach for DogFest Orlando, but we promise it's worth it! Pack up the dogs and drive on down to Orlando for the Walk ‘n Roll event, as well as other great events throughout the day.
The Opening Ceremony begins at 10 a.m., with race registration starting an hour prior. The race begins promptly at 10:30 a.m. and is followed by live music, games, and vendor booths until 2 p.m.
Register for the race as an individual or create a team to join the race together. Each participant’s fundraising goal is $125. If you reach that total by race day, you will receive an event shirt.
All proceeds from the race benefit Canine Companions.
Drive down to Orlando to enjoy the annual Barktoberfest event. Held every November, Barktoberfest is an event that Orange County Animal Services hosts every year to show its appreciation for the community it serves. Join OCAS and other rescue organizations from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 19 for fun and shopping.
In addition to a market, there will be many adoptable animals present at the event. If you are considering adding a new four-legged family member to your household, be sure to stop by some of the rescues at the event.
Join OCAS at Lake Eola Park in Orlando every November for all of the Barktober Fest fun!
Join Brightside Events each March for the Doggie Derby. The derby is a 25-yard race between like-sized dogs. Every weight class has one final winner, and those winners are entered into the race for the title of Doggie Derby Grand Champion. Dogs of all sizes are eligible to participate.
As a dog owner, it is your duty to cheer or entice your dog to the finish line as quickly as possible.
Check-in for the races begins at 9 a.m., and races begin at 10:30 a.m. You can pre-register only for only $15. If there are any spots left the day of the event, you can register at that time for $25.