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Give a Wag! Gives to Fort Walton Beach Shelters

Nestled in the Florida panhandle, Fort Walton Beach is a small, ocean-side city packed with charm, soft sand, and beautiful views! Though it's not the top of any of the pet-friendliest lists in the nation yet, there's plenty of pup-friendly activities, doggo events, and lots of outdoor fun that make this city a goldmine for pups and their paw-rents. 

The largest animal shelter in the area, the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society - also known as PAWS - offers hundreds of services for pups and their future paw-rents. Established in 1957 as a different society, PAWS gradually evolved into what it is today, a private, non-profit organization that handles more than 7,000 every single year. They feature a vet clinic, in its 17th year, that has sterilized over 48,000 animals during its time.

Overall, this shelter is dedicated to the welfare of animals, protecting them from cruelty, finding as many of them fur-ever homes as possible, and fostering homeless pets. 

Another popular rescue in the area is Ruff Dog Rescue. This organization is a 501 (c)3 rescue that recognizes itself as a no-kill shelter. Its sole purpose is to stop unnecessary euthanasia by educating the public on spaying, neutering, and caring for animals correctly. Because of the size of the organization, they typically rely on fosters for their rescued animals. Open since 2004, they've helped countless animals find fur-ever homes in the FWB area. 

Upcoming Dog Friendly Events in Fort Walton Beach

  • Admission FREE!
    Month October
    Duration 9am-2pm

    #1 Dog Daze

    The biggest, fluffiest, most pawesome event of the year in Fort Walton Beach is back - Dog Daze! Bring your pooch to the most barked-about festival in an area full of canine festivities for you and your pooch. The event will feature games and contests for the pups, wiener dog races, dog-centered vendors, and even fun exhibitions by the Soccer Collies and the Pensacola Furricanes! It's a day-long event in the Liza Jackson Park where you can shop, eat, meet other pups, run around agility courses and bond with your pooch. The event is free, but donations of $3+ per pup are requested. All proceeds go toward pup causes in the area. All pups over 6 months (with their shots and such) are welcome to attend the event! 
    Dog friendly event?
  • Admission FREE!
    Month December
    Duration 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

    #2 Home for the Pawlidays

    Ho, ho, ho  - Christmas is quickly coming, are you and your pup paw-pared? Luckily, PAWS (Panhandle Animal Welfare Shelter) has got you covered with their annual Home for the Pawlidays event. Not only does this event function as an enormous adoption party (you may be going home with a new pup), it's also a fun, Fido-friendly event that features raffles, doggo vendors, food, fun, and even pet pictures with Santa! From 11-2, you and your canine companion can snap a few photos with the big guy in red. Even better? If your pooch is a PAWS alumni, your photos are free! If not, no sweat, they recommend a $3 donation for your photo opp. Don't miss this opportunity to get your pooch prepared for the holidays!
    Dog friendly event?
  • Admission $15.00
    Month March
    Duration 7:00 am - 2:00 pm

    #3 Paws on the Throttle

    Join Fort Walton Beach citizens for a different kind of pup-benefit event - the annual Paws on the Throttle! Put on by the PAWS shelter, this annual event features bikers, bulldogs and more for a run/drive that benefits homeless pups in the area. For $15, you can bring your pooch to watch bikers galore throttle their hogs all for a good cause! The run will feature the central event, but also an after party with lots of prizes, drawings,  live music, and fellow pooches enjoying the Florida weather. All proceeds will benefit the PAWS organization and homeless pups in your area. 

    Dog friendly event?
  • Admission FREE!
    Duration Dawn-Dusk

    #4 Pup Parks

    This pup-friendly city wouldn't be complete without a few parks dedicated to the pooches. The most pawpular park in the area is Central Bark. This pup park is fenced-in, off-leash, and gives you and your pooch plenty of space to play. Set up with water fountains, plush grass, and plenty of play equipment, this pup park provides a space for both the active pooches and the lazier doggos to enjoy the outdoors. You can even arrange to host private events for your pooch - like a birthday party, perhaps - in one half of the dog park. Another pawpular choice is the Liza Jackson Dog Park. Not only is this a fenced-in, size-separated, off-leash park that you and your pooch can enjoy every day of the year, it's also the site of the annual Dog Daze event every October!
    Dog friendly event?
  • Admission FREE!
    Duration Mon-Fri 10:00 am ...

    #5 3 Dogs & a Chick

    This pup-run store (okay, okay, a human runs it, too) is the perfect pup boutique for you and your pooch. It features funky treats and toys, eco-friendly products, and even birthday cakes for your pup!  This isn't just a spot to find products for your pooch, it's a total pup-centric experience. Bring along Fido to help pick out his favorite treats, and even sample a few of the delicious pup-friendly baked goods! While you're in, let your pooch enjoy a meet-n-sniff with the doggo-owners of the store, Sabre, Tate, and Zara, the chief security, eating, and joking officers, respectively.
    Dog friendly event?
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