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Give a Wag! Gives to Topeka Shelters

The Helping Hands Humane Society of Topeka has been caring for animals in the Topeka area since 1890. At that time, the organization’s activities were mostly carried out by one family, who offered sanctuary to dogs, horses, and even human children! Today the group takes in well over 6,000 animals each year, and around ⅓ are dogs.

HHHS's top priorities are helping healthy animals find their fur-ever homes and reuniting lost pets with their owners. The group also aims to reduce the number of animals that come through their shelter doors in two ways. First, they work to reduce unwanted litters through their animal sterilization initiative. Second, they offer pet owners training that can prevent behavior issues that sometimes lead to surrender. With two levels of pet etiquette classes and the opportunity for your dog to earn a Canine Good Citizen certificate, HHHS is committed to ensuring that you and your furry friend stay together for life.

Friends of the Animals in Kansas is a privately run, no-kill shelter just for canines. This group re-homes abandoned dogs and dogs pulled from high-kill shelters. They work primarily with dogs whose chances of adoption are minimal, because of their behavior, breed, age, or other factors. Before re-homing the dogs, they foster them in a kennel-free home environment where they receive one-on-one attention, socialization, and training, to ensure these high-needs dogs reach their full pet-tential. While Friends of the Animals in Kansas is much smaller than your typical rescue group, folks who’ve adopted from them love the group’s personal touch, and their careful attention to making sure dogs and adopters are a perfect match.

Upcoming Dog Friendly Events in Topeka

  • Admission $15.00
    Month April

    #1 Paws in the Park

    Each spring, the Helping Hands Humane Society hosts the Paws in the Park event to raise funds for the care of their shelter animals. Paws in the Park has been going for over 20 years and draws hundreds of dog lovers from across Shawnee County. Dog owners can visit vendor booths to shop for dog supplies and learn about dog services in the Topeka area. They can also enter their dogs in contests that reward both nature (“largest dog,” “smallest dog”) and nurture (“best kiss given to a human”). For a little something dif-fur-ent, the event even offers dogs the chance to socialize with miniature horses!
    Dog friendly event?
  • Admission $30.00
    Month November

    #2 Tails on the Trail


    The annual Tails on the Trail 5K Run/Walk on the Shawnee North Nature Trail might be one of your last op-paw-tunities to run a race with your dog before the cold sets in! If you and your pal prefer a more leisurely pace, there’s also an untimed walk. Past participants rave about the beautiful course as well as the trophies and treats for both pups and their people. In 2017, its 8th year of operation, the event reached its goal of donating $100,000 to the Helping Hands Humane Society. A scenic trek with your dog is a reward in itself, but what could be better than helping other animals at the same time?

    Dog friendly event?
  • Admission $5.00
    Month August

    #3 Dog Days of Summer Dog Swim

    When summer’s winding down but the heat is still fur-ocious, don’t sweat it: it’s time to take your dog to the annual Dog Days of Summer Dog Swim! At this event, dogs and their owners can take a refreshing dip in a public pool on the last day it’s open for the season. The dog swim has become so paw-pular, in 2017 it was held on two consecutive evenings, once at Balisdell Pool and once at Shawnee North Family Aquatic Center. The cost is $5 per dog, and proceeds go to the Second Chance Animal Refuge Society in Auburn, KS.
    Dog friendly event?
  • Admission FREE!
    Duration Year Round

    #4 Old Prairie Town at Ward Meade Historic Site

    Old Prairie Town at Ward Meade Park offers history buffs and their canine companions the chance to tour a 6-acre outdoor museum located on the Oregon Trail. A walk among the carefully restored structures from times gone by captures what life was like for early settlers to the region in vibrant detail. Leashed dogs are welcome in all outdoor areas, which includes the sprawling Ward Meade Botanical Gardens. There, you and your pup can stop and sniff the roses, keep an eye on the wildlife in the water garden, and relax in the shade of the gazebo!
    Dog friendly event?
  • Admission FREE!
    Duration Year Round

    #5 Kaw River State Park

    This 76-acre state park on the south bank of the Kansas River in west Topeka is free to enter, and dogs are welcome. With its wooded trails and access to the Kansas River, visitors describe it as an incredible place to run and hike. Despite the area’s reputation for flat terrain, the park’s trails wind up and down steep hills, and you and your dog are sure to enjoy the gorgeous vistas at the top! MacLennan Park and Cedar Crest are right next door, offering a view of the Governor’s Mansion to the east. As in all Kansas state parks, ensure that you leash your dog at all times.
    Dog friendly event?
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