Every dog deserves the chance to live a happy and healthy life in a loving home, and there are plenty of hard-working rescue groups that pull out all the stops to ensure the dogs of St. Louis get to do exactly that.
One such group is Stray Rescue of St. Louis, which has offered a helping paw to the city’s companion animals since 1998. With a mission to ensure that every companion animal in St. Louis experiences health, comfort, and affection, this non-profit group takes a proactive approach to solving the homeless animal problem. It has more than 60 staff members, 300 foster families, and 1,000 volunteers, all of whom work together to help pets in need!
Stray Paws Rescue is another of St. Louis’s best-known rescue groups. This non-profit, foster-based group offers abandoned, neglected, and stray dogs a new beginning, saving them from high-kill shelters and getting them off the city streets. Each of these down-on-there-luck dogs are then cared for and matched with a loving family.
Needy Paws Rescue is also devoted to saving dogs in need, and it rescues abandoned, unwanted, abused, and stray dogs. A non-profit rescue that runs on donations, Needy Paws relies on the hard work, passion, and dedication of volunteers to give each pet a safe and loving home.
Love beer? Love animals? Combine your two passions at the Ales for Tails Beer Festival, held in March at the American Czech Educational Center. Open to dogs of all ages and to humans 21 and over, this thirst-quenching bonanza offers four hours of beer sampling with products from craft and microbreweries, as well as passionate local homebrewers. Food trucks and live music are available to get you in the mood, while the Meow Market stocks a stack of pet-friendly products. The festival supports Tenth Life Cat Rescue and Needy Paws Dog Rescue, so why not wet your whistle for two very good causes.
If your pooch loves getting wet, this could be the perfect event for the two of you to enjoy together. The Paddle with your Pooch Boat Race, held every year at the Boathouse in Forest Park, sees dog-and-master teams compete in a fast, fun, and Fido-friendly race. There are three heats followed by the highly anticipated final, but the event is just as much fun for spectators, if you don’t want to compete. But if you do want to test out your pooch’s dog paddling prowess, get in early to ensure you don’t miss out.
Get into the Halloween spirit with this paw-some kids’ celebration, which is held each year at the Purina Farms Visitor Center. This fun day out is just as much fun for pets as it is for their owners, with face painting, heaps of games, balloon animals, and a whole gang of cute and cuddly dogs. Kids are treated to Nestle candy, while four-legged guests can indulge in Purina dog treats. Purina Farms Trunk or Treat is open to kids 12 and under, with tickets $5 per child and $5 per dog. Kids 2 and under get in free!
Want to give your pooch a chance to try out some fun doggy sports in a relaxed, no-pressure environment? Then roll up to the St. Louis Canine Games, which welcome all dogs to come along and try their paw at a huge range of activities. All events are beginner level and completely non-competitive, and your pet can try any of agility, flyball, flying disc lure coursing, earthdog, diving dog, and a range of other sports. There’s even a superhero-themed canine costume contest, which promises to be a sight to behold, so head on over to Purina Farms to be part of all the fun and games!
Get active, get out and about with your pet, and get together with other animal lovers to raise money for a good cause! The annual Bark in the Park, held at Cricket Field each May, combines a 5K race, 1-mile walk, and Fun Family Festival to support the Humane Society of Missouri. After pounding the pavement in the 5K race or strutting your stuff in the walk, you and your furry friend can check out amazing doggy demonstrations, tackle the agility course, enter paw-some pet contests, and heaps more! There’s non-stop action and activities for all five hours of the event, so take your pet along and get ready for a whole lot of tail-wagging fun.