While Columbia, Missouri, is mostly known for being the home of the University of Missouri, it is also home to hundreds of homeless pets that need love and care from a new family. Luckily for these animals, there are animal shelters in the area that provide shelter, food, and care until a new home can be found!
The Central Missouri Humane Society opened in 1943 to help shelter abandoned animals in the town. Since its opening, the shelter has helped thousands of animals find new homes. In addition, the Central Missouri Humane Society also provides low-cost veterinary services for pet owners on limited incomes. To prevent more unwanted animals being left without homes, the shelter spays and neuters almost 3,000 cats and dogs annually! While many animals are housed at the shelter, many more are cared for in the homes of foster families. The shelter currently has over 100 foster families and 300 other volunteers. As a non-profit shelter that costs more than $17,000 per week to run, the organization runs off of fundraisers, donations, and adoption fees.
Second Chance is a non-profit, privately owned organization that is dedicated to helping animals find new homes. As the largest animal rescue group in mid-Missouri, the rescue utilizes more than 100 volunteers to place more than 700 animals in new homes each year. The rescue has only two staff members, so these volunteers are critical to the operation. To continue to help animals, the shelter relies on donations, fundraising, and the money from adoption fees.
Head on down to The District on the last weekend each July for the annual Dog Days Sidewalk Sale. During the sale, you’ll get to enjoy deeply discounted products from many of your favorite local shops! Bring your dog to get some exercise while you wander the aisles for hours during this weekend.
Retailers will have products brought out to the sidewalk with additional products available inside their stores. Since The District is dog-friendly, you won’t have to worry about staying outside with your pet. Water will be left out at a number of retailers as well.
Many of the restaurant and coffee shops in the area will also offer items at a discounted rate.
As the dog days of summer come to an end, don’t miss out on your opportunity to let your dog splash around in the pool at the Albert-Oakland Family Aquatic Center for the annual Pooch Plunge each September.
All friendly dogs are invited to swim and enjoy quality time with other local dogs. Use of the facility is for dogs only, however, the slides are off limits.
Pets must be pre-registered to participate in the event as space is limited. The cost is $4 per dog. Owners are responsible for proving vaccinations are up-to-date and cleaning up any accidents.
Swim time starts at 6:30 pm and ends at 7:30 pm.
If you are looking for a free, dog- and child-friendly event in Columbia, Missouri, look no further than the Columbia Pet Expo Unleashed! The event starts with a 5k that commences at 8:30 am. After the race, enjoy games, music, raffles, a photo booth, and much more!
There will be food trucks at the event, and you won’t want to miss out on the great food they have to offer. Browse through local vendors and snag your dog some free food and treat samples. You can sign up for pet contests while you're there as well.
Meet adoptable pets and maybe bring one into your life!
Proceeds from the Expo benefit NO KILL Columbia.
Each October, Second Chance hosts a free Paws in the Park event for local dogs and their owners at Stephens Lake Park. Well-behaved dogs must remain leashed throughout the event. You won’t want to miss out on the Dock Dog Diving Competition, where you can watch dogs do amazing jumps!
Head over to the Canine Carnival to play games and win prizes for you and your pooch. Browse the items at the silent auction to see what pawesome stuff you can win.
It costs $27 per team to enter the event if you register early. On-site registration fees are $30 per team.
The event runs from 9 am to 4 pm. The following morning, join Tito’s Vodka for a 5k race and dog jog to wrap up the festival at 10 am.
Second Chance will have adoptable dogs on-site as well.
Everyone loves to have a photo taken with Santa around the holidays, and your dog is no exception! To keep your pup happy, stop by John C. Harris Community Center in Fulton, Missouri during December for a fun photo opportunity with the one and only Santa Paws.
Vendors will be around with all kinds of great Christmas gifts for the dog in your life. Don’t forget to bid on the Holiday Lottery Ticket Tree as well!
Santa Paws will be available for photos between 10 am and 2 pm.
Admission to the event is $5, which gets you a photograph of your pet.