The only shelter in the county, the mission of Door County Humane Society (DCHS) is to build a community where all cats and dogs are valued and cared for in loving, forever families. DCHS finds homes for 100% of adoptable dogs and cats, meaning no animal is ever euthanized simply because they’ve been at the shelter too long. DCHS partners with local veterinarians to provide medical care for the hundreds of lost, orphaned, and surrendered animals that pass through the shelter each year.
In line with their mission, DCHS offers programs to benefit and educate people and animals in Door County. These programs include a low-cost spay and neuter clinic for cats to address the overpopulation of feral cats and a therapy dog program offering training for aspiring therapy dogs and their handlers. In addition, DCHS visits area schools to teach about responsible pet ownership.
DCHS can be found participating in many annual peninsula events, including Spring Fling in Baileys Harbor, Ellison Bay Days, Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Sturgeon Bay, and Sister Bay Fall Fest Parade.
The first Door County Scottie Rally was held in 2001, with nine Scottish Terriers and 24 humans in attendance. Since then, the rally has grown to include over 200 Scotties and several hundred Scottie lovers. The annual Scottie Rally draws people from all over the United States and the world, with attendees coming from as far away as Australia and South Africa. In addition to bringing Scotty lovers together, the rally seeks to educate the public and owners about issues which impact the health and welfare of Scottish Terriers and to provide financial support of Scottish Terrier health-related research and rescue efforts. Rally events include a parade featuring Scotties and bagpipers, a silent auction, dog ultrasound screenings, obedience training sessions, and more. Registration for the rally starts at $20 for one day, with early bird discounts available. Some rally activities require additional fees, with proceeds from the rally going to benefit Scottish Terrier related rescue and health research.
Each summer, from mid-June through the end of August, Northern Sky Theater performs under the stars at the amphitheater at Peninsula State Park. Performances are geared towards families, and leashed dogs are welcome to take in a show with their humans! Northern Sky Theater requests that furry spectators and their handlers take an aisle seat near the back of the amphitheater, in the event that a quick exit is necessary. Campers can inquire at the park office about discount cards for show tickets.
Situated on the eastern side of the peninsula—along the shores of Lake Michigan—Baileys Harbor is the perfect place to launch a boat and get out on the water! For a personal sightseeing tour of Door County’s islands, bluffs, lighthouses, and harbor towns, check out Classic Boat Tours in Fish Creek where Captain Gerry welcomes dogs at no additional charge. Rates for two to six people start at $30 per hour ($15 per hour for kids 6-12). Looking for a wind-powered adventure? Dogs sail free at Sail Door County where you can expect a safe and smooth boat ride. Tours start at $45 ($35 for kids 5-12).
There are loads of dog-friendly shops in Door County! As long as your pup is carried or leashed, they can accompany you as you pick out that perfect, breed-specific t-shirt at Pet Expressions in Sturgeon Bay or sniff the leather goods at Hide Side Corner Store in Fish Creek. Other peninsula stores that welcoming pups include, Santa Fe Shops—pick up a dog treat for your furry shopper—and Door County Dog Store—where it’s all about the dogs!
In and around Baileys Harbor you’ll find a number of dining establishments that not only welcome but cater to Door County’s furry visitors! Enjoy a wood-fired pizza on the patio at Wild Tomato, with locations in Sister Bay and Fish Creek. Relax in the grassy outdoor dining area at Harbor Fish Market & Grille while Sprout enjoys a selection off their Doggy Menu. Listen to live music outside while your pooch relaxes with a bottomless bowl of water at Gibraltar Grill. And for dessert, Not Licked Yet Frozen Custard is the perfect place to treat yo’ pup to a puppy cone!