It may be Georgia’s capital and the state’s most populous city, but Atlanta still has plenty of opportunities for you and your dog to explore the wide, open spaces. In fact, the “City in a Forest” is one of the most paw-tastic locations anywhere in the United States, with more dog-friendly parks, eateries, and attractions than you can wag a tail at! And in this city of dog lovers, there are plenty of people willing to lend a paw to pets in need.
Furkids has been helping Atlanta’s at-risk dogs and cats since 2002. As part of its extensive rescue efforts, this non-profit charitable group runs Sadie’s Place, a no-kill shelter for dogs. Its mission is to rescue homeless animals and give them a chance at a better life, providing the medical care, love, and nurturing they need until they can be placed in a new home.
PAWS Atlanta is another of the city’s best-known rescue groups. Founded on a no-kill philosophy, this Decatur-based non-profit has a mission to bring people and pets together. PAWS Atlanta offers everything from pet adoption and foster services to medical care, behavioral training, and community outreach programs, giving unwanted pets the chance to find loving forever homes.
Angels Among Us Pet Rescue also serves the welfare needs of animals in the region, rescuing dogs and cats from North Georgia’s high-kill shelters. A non-profit, volunteer-based group, Angels Among Us relies on a network of volunteers and foster homes across the Atlanta metropolitan area. Thanks to their tireless efforts, the group has saved more than 10,000 animals.
Atlanta’s largest pet party in the park — this tagline sums up everything you can expect from this pet-acular event. Held twice a year in May and September, in Suwanee Town Center Park and Smyrna Market Village respectively, this free family event offers two days of pet-friendly fun. The 40,000 pet lovers who attend can enjoy live music, canine contests, pet vendors, food, trucks, arts and crafts, plus a whole lot more! Dogs, cats, ferrets, and all kinds of pets are welcome, but all animals must be on a leash.
Love your pup? Love all the fun and excitement of an outdoor festival? This is the event for you! PUP Culture Fest is a paw-some outdoor event designed specifically for dogs and their humans. You and your furry friend can spend a day in the sunshine enjoying food, drinks, live music, a huge vendors’ market, and much more. Held at Grant Park, PUP Culture Fest is a free event, so get out there with your canine companion and celebrate all things dog!
Move your paws for a good cause at this annual 5K run, fun-run, and festival. Held at Newtown Park in Johns Creek, this dog-friendly fitness event encourages all participants to bring their dog along and get active! You can run, jog, or walk your way around the course, making this the perfect event for both energetic canines and those that like to take things a little more slowly. Best of all, the event raises money for Happy Tails, an Atlanta organization that provides more than 2,000 pet-assisted therapy visits each year.
Get into the festive spirit and deck the paws at this wonderful family event. Once a year every December, the canine citizens of Atlanta get dressed up in their finest howl-iday outfits and head to the Atlanta Botanical Garden. There, they compete for prizes, socialize with other pets and simply show off their gorgeous costumes. You can get your pet’s photo taken with Santa, check out the latest and greatest pet products at the Doggie Expo, and let your pet strut his or her stuff in the parade. If you’re looking for a dog-friendly event to get you in the mood for Christmas, this is it!
Fall in Georgia is always beautiful, and what better way to enjoy it than to get outside with your four-legged friend by your side! This family-friendly pet festival is held every October and features an afternoon full of paw-some doggy activities. There’s a Halloween costume contest, a parade of adoptable pets, raffles, educational sessions, and a wide range of vendors. Entry is free for people and $5 per dog, with funds raised on the day going to benefit a number of local non-profits that work to improve the lives of pets.