Sarah Wolfgang's 'The Dog Cafe'
America's first Dog Cafe begins in LA. Be a part of the campaign that revolutionizes dog adoption. Pup-Up event on January 22nd - 25th in Downtown Los Angeles. Make a reservation, guaranteeing your spot at Sarah Wolfgang's 4-day Pup-Up!
The LAist discovers a woman who is attempting to open up Los Angeles’ first dog cafe. No one is renting dogs, but you are buying petting time to help homeless dogs. Guarantee your spot now by clicking here!
Juliet Bennett Rylah of the LAist reports:
Cat Cafes are particularly popular in Japan and South Korea, and have been popping up in other countries too, including one in Oakland. They’re basically coffee houses where customers are also able to socialize with cats. Other concepts have rabbits, owls and penguins. Until now, there really hasn’t been much talk of a similar concept offering cuddles with dogs in the U.S., though there are a few dog cafes in South Korea.
Sarah Wolfgang is currently attempting to raise funds for The Dog Cafe via indiegogo. Since she launched her campaign on December 16, she’s raised a little over $9000 of her $200,000 goal. The campaign closes February 5. Her indiegogo says she’s also working on hosting a ‘pup-up’ event.
Her plans include serving coffee from Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. and offering a number of dogs from shelters who customers can pet, cuddle and play with.
“With the overcrowding of Los Angeles animal shelters, many dogs are overlooked simply because they ‘seem to shy’ or are ‘too bark-y,'” Wolfgang writes. “But the reality behind these dogs is that most of them are highly adoptable, yet so many do not get a second chance because we don’t get to appreciate their real personalities. The Dog Cafe is going to put a spin on the way people adopt by totally reinventing the way we connect with homeless dogs. We want to provide you with the opportunity to see these highly adoptable pooches in their true light. And even if you’re not looking to adopt, you can still enjoy all of the sloppy kisses you’ve ever wanted.”
Wolfgang spoke to the L.A. Health Department and was told that the Dog Cafe would be legal if it was completely separated. That is, the cafe would be in one area and would not connect to where the dogs are located. Customers would be allowed to buy a beverage and take it with them to the dog zone.
Wolfgang said she came up with the idea for the Dog Cafe while volunteering at a shelter in Korea when she was 14. She and other volunteers worked to rescue 120 dogs that would be put down if homes could not be found for them.
In 2010, she started a program in Korea to find homes for animals with special needs. When Wolfgang moved to the U.S. in early 2014, she said she realized there were more shelter dogs than there were adoptions, and thought a Dog Cafe would be a great opportunity to find the dogs homes.
American Cat Cafes typically have similar motivations and allow customers to adopt kitties that steal their hearts.
THE DOG CAFE by Sarah Wolfgang
So, we’ve been hearing about all these cool new cat cafes, but what about for us dog lovers?
I introduce to you – The Dog Cafe.
The Dog Cafe will be your new favorite coffee joint. You’ll be able to enjoy a cup of great-tasting coffee (from our friends at Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co.) while cuddling next to a pooch. But what makes The Dog Cafe truly special is our mission.
With the overcrowding of Los Angeles animal shelters, many dogs are overlooked simply because they “seem too shy” or are “too bark-y.” But the reality behind these dogs is that most of them are highly adoptable, yet so many do not get a second chance because we don’t get to appreciate their real personalities. The Dog Cafe is going to put a spin on the way people adopt by totally reinventing the way we connect with homeless dogs. We want to provide you with the opportunity to see these highly adoptable pooches in their true light. And even if you’re not looking to adopt, you can still enjoy all of the sloppy kisses you’ve ever wanted.
We understand that living in Los Angeles most likely means you live in an apartment, which makes it difficult to own a pet. Well, The Dog Cafe is here to provide you with your dog and coffee fix – all in one location! Worry not. You can leave all the poo-cleaning to us.
In order to keep our focus on the the dogs, we’re partnering with Grounds and Hounds Coffee Co. to bring you top-quality, Fair Trade Organic, 100% Arabica beans. But, do you know what makes them super awesome? They donate 20% of all Southern California proceeds to local rescue partners!
The Dog Cafe will be the first of it’s kind in the US, and we want to invite you to be a part of it. Contributing to The Dog Cafe will change the lives of many dogs. Our goal is to find forever homes for at least 104 dogs within the first year, though we are anticipating to reach a much higher number. Our project will reinvent the way people view adopting dogs and will give dogs that seemed “unadoptable,” a chance at their very own forever home.
Is this even legal?
Yes. Well, sort of. Just kidding. It is. After having spoken to the LA Health Department, we have been given the “okay” as long as we have two separate locations. These two locations can be side by side but cannot connect in any way. Below is a diagram of what The Dog Cafe will potentially look like. Again, yes – this is legal.
Why so much money?
Unlike cat cafes, dogs take up a lot of space, and our dogs need to be able to run around. A big space like this can be very expensive in Los Angeles, but does it really matter when you get to see all those happy, slobbery faces? Yes… yes… it does. So, we are trying our best to lock in the most affordable, perfect location.
Another portion of your contribution will go towards renovating the big space. We’ll need to redo the floors with polished concrete to maintain a sanitary Dog Zone. We’ll also need to furnish the Dog Zone with comfortable sofas for you and Fido to lay on.
The final portion of your contribution will go towards staffing. We’re hoping to have at least 1 staff member or trainer per 3 dogs – that’s about 3-4 staff in the Dog Zone alone! We want to keep the Dog Zone a happy and tail-wagging place.
What gave you the idea of The Dog Cafe?
My dedication to helping dogs truly started when I began to volunteer and foster for a private shelter in Korea at the age of 14 to cope with the loss of my first childhood dog, a brilliant and loving poodle named Shadow. The shelter was eventually scheduled to close and the 120 dogs would be put down if the shelter could not relocate. In the following few months with a team of amazing volunteers, we were successfully able to prevent all 120 dogs from being put down by tirelessly working to adopt out and relocate every single one.
Aside from fostering and rehoming 50+ dogs during my time in Korea, In 2010 I started my own special needs animal relocation program that has since relocated 8 special needs dogs across the globe to people who could properly care for them. One such dog was a paraplegic named Jang Goon (Korean for General) who we found neglected and severely malnourished. With a team of inspired people, we were able to find Jang Goon his forever home.
After recently moving to the US, I realized there was a greater intake of dogs than there were adoptions. I realized a dog café would be the perfect solution to giving these shelter dogs a second chance at a forever home.
I can’t contribute, but is there another way for me to help?
Of course! You can send our page to all of your friends! Post this on your FaceBook, Twitter, PinIt, Instagram, your blog – wherever you can reach people.
For the full story and to visit the puppies, check out Sarah’s Indiegogo page.