From big dogs to small dogs, purebreds to mutts — all canines get the chance to find a loving home in Newark! New Jersey’s biggest city may often be overlooked in favor of its more glamorous neighbours, but there’s plenty of compelling reasons why Newark is the paw-fect destination for dog lovers and their pets.
One of those reasons is the plethora of impressive animal rescue and welfare organizations that serve at-risk animals in the area. The Associated Humane Societies, for example, has been helping animals of all shapes and sizes since 1906. As the provider of the largest animal sheltering system in New Jersey, it provides care and treatment to thousands of animals each year. And thanks to a strong adoption program, the Associated Humane Societies has helped many unwanted dogs and cats find their forever homes.
Pound Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) of Montclair is another hardworking rescue group that has been helping New Jersey’s animals for 40 years. With an unwavering commitment to the humane treatment of animals, PAWS Montclair provides much-needed adoption services for stray and unwanted dogs and cats. This non-profit maintains two small shelters — one for dogs and the other for cats — and relies on a thriving network of foster homes to help pets in need.
Hosted by the Newark branch of the Associated Humane Societies, Barktoberfest is a fun-filled day designed to celebrate and support local animal rescue groups. Held at Turtle Back Zoo’s Education Center, this dog-friendly event invites you to bring your spectacularly-dressed pet along to participate in the Pet Photo Booth and Costume Contest. There are plenty of adoptable animals on site for anyone searching for their new fur-ever friend, while local vendors, food trucks, and live entertainment will keep you and Fido amused all day long.
Want to enjoy a movie under the stars with your pooch by your side? This is the festival for you! Hosted by the Newark Museum, the Dog Days of Summer Outdoor Film Festival features several dog-friendly screenings in the museum’s Alice Ransom Dreyfuss Memorial Garden. Films shown are always family-friendly, canine-centric classics, so animal lovers and their pets are assured of some quality viewing. Admission is free for museum members, Newark residents, children under 10 and furry friends; otherwise, tickets cost $10 per person.
A weekend-long spectacular celebrating dogs, the World Dog Expo is packed full of fun and entertainment, perfect for any devoted dog lover! Held in June at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, the event gives dogs and pet parents the op-paw-tunity to participate in sports, education, training, and a whole host of other grrr-eat bonding experiences. Dog rescue and adoption is also promoted over the weekend, but perhaps the biggest drawcard is the huge trade show! You and Rover can browse a huge array of the latest and best doggy products, giving you the chance to hunt down a few bargains and buy your furry friend a treat or two.
Want to give your pet a chance to cool off and escape the warmer weather? Dog Days of Summer is the paw-fect solution! Held in September at Maplewood Community Pool, this two-hour event invites all dog lovers to bring their canine companion to the pool for a swim. You can also bring along balls, Frisbees, and other toys for your pooch to play with in the water — provided he doesn’t mind sharing, of course. Fighters and biters are not allowed, and all dogs must be properly licensed and wearing their tags. The best part is that admission is free, so there’s no excuse not to let your pooch get his paws wet!
Liberty Humane Society, based in nearby Jersey City, works to protect and assist animals in need throughout New Jersey. Bark in the Park is its biggest fundraiser of the year, and this paw-some pet festival also happens to be a fun and furry day out for the whole family. It all takes place in Hoboken’s Church Square Park, where myriads of pet lovers and their four-legged friends join forces for a pet-acular celebration! You can dress Rover up to strut his stuff in the costume contest, shop pet products from a huge range of vendors, and treat yourself to a tasty snack or two from one of many food trucks. There’s also plenty of entertainment on offer for family members young and old, so get everyone ready for a barking good time.