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.