Whether small or large, long-haired or short, young or old, every dog deserves a chance at a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. And in Santa Ana, Orange County’s second most populous city, there are several whole-hearted rescue groups committed to ensuring every dog gets to experience exactly that.
Since 1949, Orange County Humane Society (OCHS) has helped tens of thousands of less fortunate animals. With a mission to provide temporary refuge for sick, lost, abused, and unwanted pets, OCHS seeks to rehabilitate every animal and help them find loving forever homes.
Outlaw Dogs Rescue may not be as well known, but the work this non-profit dog rescue group does is just as worthy of recognition. This volunteer-run organization operates a network of foster homes throughout Orange County, and rescues shelter dogs, surrendered dogs, and animals roaming the streets. It also saves dogs from high-kill facilities and gives each pet the care and socialization it needs until a loving owner can be found.
Animal Donation Advocate is another Santa Ana Rescue group working to help the city’s dogs. Founded in 2008, this non-profit group helps elderly, low-income, and unemployed pet owners pay essential medical bills for pets that they are unable to afford. It also supports spay/neuter campaigns throughout Southern California and Mexico, and works with other non-profit groups to help re-home unwanted dogs.
Whenever the dogs of Santa Ana and surrounds need help, it’s reassuring to know that there are plenty of dog lovers ready and willing to step up to the plate.
Are you the proud owner of a dapper dog who loves nothing more than getting dressed up in his finest clothes and then heading out and about to socialize? If so, the annual Dapper Dog Social is the perfect paw-ty for you and your pooch. A community event designed to bring people and dogs together, the Dapper Dog Social is a fun dress-up event for pets and their owners. Your four-legged friend is encouraged to don his best formalwear and join you for a fun day out! Other event highlights include a mock doggie wedding, small dog races, a range of canine contests, and plenty of pet product vendors. Best of all, ticket sales are donated to local animal rescues.
Held annually in February, Paws FUR Pink is a dog-friendly run/walk to raise money to fight breast and canine cancers. Canines and their human companions are invited to gather at Irvine Regional Park in Orange County to walk, run, trot, sniff, and explore their way around the scenic 5k and 1-mile courses. There’s also a costume contest, a pet products and information expo, and plenty of other fur-friendly activities throughout the day. And with money raised going to benefit the Susan G. Komen Orange County and the National Canine Cancer Foundation, you can rest assured that your pet will be using his paws for a good cause.
Treat your taste buds (and your furry friend) to a gourmet day out at the annual Tustin Street Fair & Chili Cook-off. This ever-popular festival hosts the world's largest one-day chili cook-off, as well as salsa competitions, a huge range of vendors, live entertainment, and wine and beer booths. Carnival attractions and a kids’ area keep the young ones entertained, and dogs are welcome to come along and join in all the festival fun.
Lights, camera, action! Is your pooch ready to strut her stuff in front of the pup-arazzi at the annual Dashing Doggie Fashion Show? This free community event, which benefits the Orange County SPCA, gives your pet the opportunity she’s been waiting for to take to the dog-walk and show off. Held at the Laguna Hills Community Center, the show includes prizes for everything from best fur to most creative costume, while there’s plenty of adorable dog-watching on offer to keep two-legged guests entertained all day long.
A surfing competition with a paw-some twist, the Surf City Surf Dog event is held in nearby Huntington Beach each September. This world-famous event brings pet lovers, surfers, and aw-struck spectators together as some of the most talented dogs you’re ever likely to see take to the surf to hang ten. It’s free to attend this splash-tastic event, and you’ll be amazed at the surfing skills of these very clever canines. Head on down to the beach with your furry friend and check it out next September!