Situated in the interior of Alaska, Fairbanks - or “The Golden Heart City” as it is sometimes called, shares its borders with the Alaskan wilderness, lying under the Northern Lights. With plenty of camping, hiking, and river cruises, there is always something to do in Fairbanks. Even though the winter can feel long and bitter, this city maintains a lively community for dogs and residents alike. They have a selection of excellent shelters committed to making dog lives better!
Loving Companions strives to save animals burdened with disabilities or senior age by working with local nonprofits and building a no-kill network of agencies and volunteers. Their commitment to the community shines through their programs such as the free pet food bank, waived adoption fees for senior citizens to adopt senior dogs, and providing shelter to homeless pets during extreme weather circumstances. In addition to dogs, they rescue several exotic animals as well.
Focusing specifically on rehoming golden retrievers and mixed breeds thereof, the Golden Retriever Rescue is very active in fundraising efforts to help keep adoption fees low. They offer services like good citizen testing at local events, and are always looking to expand their foster network. If you want to support GRRF, come out to annual events like the dog wash or rummage sale.
Second Chance was founded by a group of mushers looking to take sled dogs from shelters to train with their own personal teams, and then find them forever homes. Sled dogs are an integral part of the Alaskan culture. Second Chance is an excellent source of information for those wanting to know about owning sled dog breeds and what to expect from them. Second Chance also provides the community with tips and tools to prepare sled dog kennels adequately.
Settled next to the stunning Chena River, Pioneer Park is a dog-friendly area for families with children of all ages. Home to Pioneer Hall, an animal sanctuary, and a train museum, bring your pup to all of the outside areas this expansive park has to offer. There is a huge playground with an animal train for the kids and the dogs. And with free admission, what’s not to love?
In partnership with the Golden Retriever Rescue of Fairbanks (GRRF), a dinner and silent auction is hosted annually each Autumn at the Senior Community Center to benefit the maintenance of the community’s favorite dog park. While this event does not permit dogs, the funds raised at this event are what keep the dog park open and wonderful. For $40 per person, guests can listen to live music, get drinks at the bar before and after dinner, and enter to win door prizes while bidding for donated items at the auction.
Every summer at the trail near Fairbanks Park, the Dog Day 1K Run invites runners and walkers alike to bring along their pups for a day of exercise. The trail is low skill level, and vendors will be placed at the finish line so you can treat yourself and Fido to something special. Once you’ve crossed the finish and rehydrated, head on over to the Puppy Ninja Warrior contest that follows the race to watch puppies run an agility course!
Perhaps the biggest event in Fairbanks, the Golden Days Festival is a multi-day festival celebrating the rich history that the Gold Rush left in the city. Dogs are welcome to most events, and encouraged to dress up in Victorian style dress, as the rest of the town does. There are parades, luncheons, and a fan favorite - the Rubber Ducky Race. Information is available through the Chamber of Commerce.
Hosted annually each Spring by the Golden Retriever Rescue (GRRF) at the Tanana Valley Fairground, Pet Appreciation Day has vendors, a good citizen dog test, and several adoption events. Costing just $2 per person or $6 per family, Pet Appreciation Day has a petting zoo for the children and hand-crafted gifts for Mom and Dad!