Castroville may be better known as the Artichoke Center of the World, but it’s also a pretty special part of the country for dogs and their owners. Situated on the northern tip of Monterey County, Castroville is surrounded by a plethora of dog-friendly attractions and activities. Everywhere you go, it seems there’s a dog walk, park, event, hotel, or tourist site just around the corner.
That’s great news for locals and visitors alike, while it also means the dogs in Castroville and surrounds can always rely on a helping paw whenever they need it. The SPCA for Monterey County has been serving the region’s animals since 1905, opening its doors to dogs, cats, and a wide variety of other creatures in need. Not only does it help unwanted dogs find loving homes, but it also provides lifesaving veterinary treatment to sick or injured animals and a free behavior hotline to help owners raise well-behaved dogs.
Animal Friends Rescue Project (AFRP) is another local non-profit dedicated to finding forever homes for stray, abandoned, and abused animals. Based in nearby Pacific Grove, it provides adoption and transport services for more than 1,200 dogs each year. And with a network of approximately 400 volunteers to call on, it’s clear that the welfare of companion animals in this part of the world is in good hands.
Take your dog for a scenic walk, meet plenty of other like-minded dog owners and their pooches, and raise funds to help end pet homelessness at the same time — that’s the premise of Wag ‘n’ Walk, an annual fundraiser for the SPCA of Monterey County. Setting out from Monterey State Historic Park, this walk helps the SPCA care for more than 5,500 homeless animals each year, with the ultimate goal of one-day ending pet homelessness in the county. Make sure you remember to register for the event so you can raise money and awareness of the excellent work the SPCA does, and then get your pooch ready for a tail-wagging good time!
If your dog loves the limelight, this is the event for her. At the annual Strut Your Mutt Costume Party, your four-legged friend can get dressed up in her cutest, scariest, most creative or simply most fabulous costume, and then strut her stuff in front of a crowd of adoring onlookers. Held at the Haute Enchilada in Moss Landing, this is one costume party where all the outfits are quite fetching. There are cool prizes for the best-dressed dogs and humans, plus food and music to keep the fun going. To enter, you’ll need to make a $25 donation to Peace of Mind Dog Rescue, a Pacific Grove-based rescue group that helps senior dogs and senior people on California’s Central Coast. A good time for a very good cause — what’s not to love?
The Feast of Lanterns is an iconic event with a history dating back more than 100 years. Held in Pacific Grove during July, this summer festival features a lantern parade to the beach, spectacular fireworks over the bay, and a host of family-friendly festivities. But the highlight for dog lovers is the annual Pet Parade, which is open to dogs, cats, rabbits, turtles, guinea pigs and more. This pet-acular parade starts and finishes in Caledonia Park, and it’s a paw-some opportunity for you to dress your pet in something colorful and creative before showing him off to the world!
Wild about Wiener dogs? Devoted to
Dachshunds? The Carmel Dachshund Club’s annual Wiener Roast might just be your
dream day out. Held on Carmel Beach each July, this pet-friendly picnic allows
the club’s members, visitors, and guests to enjoy good food, good company, and
gorgeous Dachshunds. It’s a fun day out for the whole family and a summer
tradition for Dachshund lovers throughout the area. Make sure to add it to your diary for next year!
Poodles are intelligent, loving, and downright beautiful companions, but did you know that this famous breed also has its very own day? Well, now you do, so you’ll have no excuse for missing Carmel’s annual Poodle Day when it arrives again next October. This fun-filled day is designed to unite Poodle lovers and their pets from across the country. Starting the frivolity is with a parade for Poodles, Poodle crosses and their devoted owners. There’s also off-leash beach play, a hike, and even cocktail parties to help you make the most of the celebration. Best of all, proceeds from Poodle Day benefit NorCal Poodle Rescue, which has been helping the region’s Poodles in need for 30 years.