No matter where you go in the United States, you’ll always find plenty of committed animal lovers who dedicate mountains of time and hard work to help out abused, abandoned, and neglected pets. Happily, the Californian city of Irvine is no different.
There are several inspirational animal welfare organizations that support the area’s at-risk animals, and the Orange County Humane Society is one of them. Founded in 1949, this grrr-eat group is on a mission to provide temporary safe refuge for sick, injured, lost, neglected, abused, and unwanted animals. After providing whatever rehabilitation is needed for those rescued animals, the society then places them in permanent, loving homes through its impressive adoption program.
The Orange County SPCA has had a similarly significant impact on animal welfare in and around Irvine. Founded by a small group of dedicated animal lovers in 1984, this non-profit organization is focused on promoting the humane treatment of animals. To work towards this goal, it provides educational services, financial assistance for animals in need, promotion of the human/animal bond, and intervention in cases of animal cruelty. As it receives no government funding, the Orange County SPCA relies entirely on community support.
Finally, any dog lover who’s spent time in Irvine before may also be aware of the work of I.C.A.R.E. Dog Rescue. Founded in 2010, this rescue group is focused on helping the dogs that no-one else will help. After rescuing at-risk dogs from shelters, I.C.A.R.E gives them the treatment and rehabilitation they need and then helps them find loving owners. This is often a lengthy and difficult process, but the reward of seeing a dog find a happy home makes all the hard work worth it.
Shelters and rescue groups across America run Home for the Holidays in the lead-up to Christmas each year. However, Irvine’s Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption Fair, hosted by the city’s Animal Care Center, has become a much-anticipated annual event. While the focus of the event is on helping cute canines find fur-ever homes, there’s also plenty of fun games and activities that dog owners can enjoy with their pooches. There are gourmet food trucks, pet-related vendors selling a huge range of products, a silent auction, discounted microchipping and more. A donation of $2 per person or $5 per family is suggested to get you into this furry holiday event.
Want to show off your adorable furry friend at a canine fashion show? Make sure you don’t miss this paw-some event! Hosted by the Orange County SPCA, this free community event sees scores of magnificent mutts strut their stuff on the dog-walk. There are categories to suit dogs of all shapes and sizes — like Best Hair/Fur, Best Pet Trick, Funniest Costume, Dog & Owner Look-Alike, Most Creative Costume andBest in Show — and the dogs love being the center of attention! Held at the Laguna Hills Community Center, it’s fabulous fun for the whole family. Best of all, proceeds benefit the Orange County SPCA.
Do you and your dog need to get a little more exercise? Why not pound the pavement for a good cause at this pet-acular annual activity? Hosted by the Irvine Rotary Club, the OC Charity Dog Walk is the paw-fect excuse for you and your pet to raise your heart rates, make some new friends, and generally, have a good time! This relaxing walk is held in Mike Ward Community Park each February and is a mutts-do for any animal lover. 100 per cent of the net proceeds from the OC Charity Dog Walk go to benefit animal-focused initiatives throughout Orange County, so what better reason do you need to get out and take a walk?
A fun-filled day for the whole family (including your pooch) is what you can expect at East Lake Village’s annual Pooch Parade. Held in October at the East Lake Clubhouse, this pet-acular event promises an afternoon full of paw-some entertainment for you and your furry friend. The highlight is of course the parade of pooches, but there’s also an entertaining doggie PAWgent and wacky costume contest to keep spectators amused. Other highlights include dog product exhibitors, free caricature drawings, grrr-eat giveaways, raffle prizes, and a whole lot of tasty treats for you and your dog to sink your teeth into.
The Surf City Surf Dog is one event that needs no introduction. Held at nearby Huntington Beach, this captivating canine surfing contest makes news across the country and around the world! You’ll be amazed as furry friends of all shapes and sizes head into the surf to tackle some big waves, showing off balance and bravery in equal measure. There’s also plenty of other pet-friendly activities held throughout the weekend, so it’s a wonderful excuse for you and your pet to come soak up some sun! Surf City Surf Dog is entirely free to attend, but all surFURs and spectators are encouraged to donate to one of the event’s charity partners.