Bay Woof's Fourth Annual Beast of the Bay Awards 2012

The voting is over, more than 7,000 ballots have been tallied, and the results are in. After months of nominations and campaigning, you now see the list of winners in Bay Woof’s 2012 Beast of the Bay Awards, our readers’ poll of favorite dog-centric people, places, and things in the greater Bay Area. Considering how many worthy possibilities there are in each of the 48 categories, it’s an awesome feat to narrow the field.

We are grateful to all of you who took the time to nominate candidates and fill out ballots, and are indebted to our loyal sponsors: KOFY TV-20 Cable 13, The Bay Area Reporter, and El Rio. We also offer heaps of gratitude to the fabulous Bay Area dog services community, BOTB winners or not. Because of you, all of us are privileged to live in the best woofing metro area in the world.

Come celebrate this fact, meet some of the winners and nominees, and mingle with other great people and dogs at this year’s Beast of the Bay Awards party on March 10. We’ll have live music, food, a raffle to benefit the winner of the Best Rescue Organization (#38), a canine costume contest, and a great time for all.

1. Best thing to happen to SF / Bay Area dogs in 2011: 

Reopening of the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society adoption facility    41%
New Bay Area dog parks opening    25%
Dog community united to protest GGNRA extreme dog management plan    22%
We still have Fort Funston    12%
 

In May of 2010, a fire broke out in the wee hours at Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society’s 9th Street shelter, eventually destroying the cat housing area, laundry room, shelter offices, administration offices, the board room, and an upstairs apartment. More than a dozen cats awaiting adoption lost their lives due to smoke inhalation. Shelter activities were disrupted for many months while funds were raised to rebuild. BEBHS adoption facilities reopened last January, thanks to the support of the Bay Area’s awesome animal-loving community, and shelter operations are plugging along. Hats off and hearty woofs! More info: www.berkeleyhumane.org.

2. Best Dog Park

Fort Funston – Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA)    44%
Albany Bulb – East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD)    9%
Point Isabel Regional Shoreline – EBRPD    36%
Stern Grove – SF Recreation & Parks (SFRP)     11%

With its combination of coastal vistas, paved and dirt walkways, hang gliders(!), sandy beaches to run on, and surf to play in, Ft. Funston remains the favorite Bay Area dog park in our readers’ hearts. Sadly, as part of the GGNRA lands, it is in danger of being turned into a park for the few instead of a park for all – stay tuned to sfdog.org for updates. Better yet, get involved to save this jewel of off-leash space for future generations of dogs and dog lovers.

3. Best Hiking Trail

Redwood Regional Park Trail – EBRPD    41%
Ft Funston – GGNRA     33%
Point Isabel – EBRPD     20%
Dunn Trail – EBRPD     6%

Just a few miles from downtown Oakland, Redwood Regional Park (RRP) encompasses nearly 2,000 acres and offers a wealth of beautiful hiking trails for you and your canine companions. Gorgeous redwood trees and other native flora abound. There are bike and horse trails in RRP, so if your dog is reactive to either, check out the online trail map and plan your hikes wisely. A list of general guidelines for dog use at this and other East Bay Regional Parks is available at ebparks.org/activities/dogs.  Main Park Entrance: 7867 Redwood Road in Oakland. There are several other entrances, see www.ebparks.org/parks/redwood for details.

4. Best View with a Dog

Stinson Beach – GGNRA     37%
Chrissy Field – GGNRA     36%
Dolores Park – SFRP     16%
Alamo Square – SFRP     11%

Stinson Beach is all about big vistas and lots of beach where you can walk and romp with you dogs … for now. It’s no wonder dogs love it. It’s a grand place to recall one of the main reasons so many of us live here: the incredible ocean and the gorgeous hills that dive down to meet it. Note: Go soon; the regulations regarding off leash dogs are set to change and it’s best to carry a leash for now.

5. Best Canine Sports Event

Agility     40%
Dog Day at the Oakland A’s     31%
Flying Disc     15%
Nosework     14%

For four years in a row Agility has cleaned up in this BOTB category, and we’re not surprised. The sport can be simple or incredibly complex, but it’s always fun and rewarding for both dog and human. If you’d like to see your dog weave through poles, crawl through tunnels, and navigate seesaws, check out www.bayteam.org to learn about local agility trials and trainers.

6. Best Adult Dog Play Group/Event

Pet Pride Day – San Francisco     48%
Waggin’ Hours at Wag Hotels     23%
Senior Socials at The Rex Center – Pacifica     21%
Poodle Day – Carmel     8%

After the 2010 rain-out, Pet Pride Day 2011 last October was the most successful PPD ever. With a shelter toy drive, pet costume contests that were outta this world, and a record number of animal species available for adoption, Friends of San Francisco Animal Care and Control pulled out all the stops to raise funds and awareness. BOTB voters say kudos for a job well done! helpacc.org

7. Best Puppy Social

SIRIUS® Puppy Classes – SF Bay Area     39%
BravoPup Puppy Playtime – Oakland     25%
The Rex Center Puppy Socials – Pacifica     19%
Metro Dog Puppy Socials – Richmond     18%
 

The fabulous furry happening called a Puppy Social (PS) provides meet-and-greet opportunities for pups during the crucial early socialization period. There are lots of PS events on offer in the Bay Area, but our voters singled out SIRIUS puppy classes that occur in many communities. Often, you can choose your dog’s play group according to size (tiny vs. beefy) and temperament (shy vs. active). If you also see to it that your young pup meets humans of all sizes, ages, ethnicities, etc. he will very likely grow up to be a confident and calm companion for you in pretty much any situation. Just ask Sirius founder (and regular Bay Woof columnist) Ian Dunbar. siriuspup.com.

8. Best Dog Happy (Yappy) Hour

Saturday Doggie Happy Hour at Doc’s Clock –
San Francisco     30%
Waggin’ Hour at Wag Hotels – San Francisco     29%
Yappy Hour at Paws & Claws – Oakland     28%
Socials at AnnaBee’s – Pacifica     13%

Doc’s Clock, a neighborhood bar in the Mission has just the right edge. Its regular Yappy Hours on the first Saturday of the month benefits the Give A Dog A Bone (www.gadag.org),  life-enhancement program for long-term shelter dogs. Doc’s Clock gives 50% of the bar and 100% of the proceeds from a silent auction to the group. We were also pretty enchanted by a recent Meet Your Match event, when happy hour was further enlivened by adoptable dogs brought by the SPCA for a meet-and-greet. Now that’s the way to find true love! 2575 Mission Street, San Francisco. docsclock.com.

9. Best Fresh Water Bowl

Paws on Piedmont – Oakland     34%
Holistic Hound – Berkeley     26%
K9 Scrub Club – San Francisco     18%
Duboce Park Cafe – San Francisco     21%

A North Oakland community treasure, Paws on Piedmont is a great place to let your pooch lap up some refreshment while you admire the store’s fantastic window displays and peruse carefully selected pet gear and tasty treats. 3974 Piedmont Ave., Oakland. pawsonpiedmont.blogspot.com.

10. Best Free Treats

Pawtrero Bathhouse and Feed Co. – San Francisco     36%
Holistic Hound – Berkeley     28%
Paws on Piedmont – Oakland     20%
Dogbone Alley – Alameda     17%

A newcomer to the top four in this category, Pawtrero Bathhouse and Feed Co. made a huge splash this year, winning the category of best free treats. What’s in those things, anyway? We don’t know, but Bay Woof readers – and our dogs – think they’re tops! 199 Mississippi St. on Pawtrero Hill and 199 Brannan St., both in San Francisco. pawtrero.com

11. Best Dog-Friendly Restaurant

Half Moon Bay Brewery – Half Moon Bay     34%
Sit & Stay Cafe, Pt. Isabel – Richmond     29%
Dolores and Duboce Park Cafes – San Francisco     19%
Park Chow – San Francisco     17%

First of all, there’s the cool vibe of Half Moon Bay itself, then there’s the patio at Half Moon Bay Brewery, where dogs share the scene as equal participants. Folks are dog friendly here and very proud of it. 390 Capistrano Rd., Half Moon Bay.  hmbbrewingco.com.

12. Best Dog-Friendly Bar

Doc’s Clock – San Francisco     45%
Half Moon Bay Brewery – Half MoonBay     21%
El Rio – San Francisco     15%
Lucky 13 – San Francisco     19%

Doc’s Clock digs dogs. In addition to having a general “canines welcome” policy, this great neighborhood joint in the Mission District has monthly Doggie Happy Hours and hosts regular fund-raisers and adoption events for local animal rescue/shelter groups. View the online events calendar and plan to make the scene with your favorite furry drinking buddy. 2575 Mission Street, San Francisco. docsclock.com.

13. Best Dog-Friendly Coffeehouse

Sit & Stay Café, Pt. Isabel – Albany     39%
Peets – SF Bay Area     30%
Duboce Park Café – San Francisco     19%
Fourbarrel – San Francisco     12%

After a splash in the Bay at Point Isabel and a scrub at Mudpuppy’s, a cup of coffee at Sit & Stay is highly recommended. It’s a treat for everyone, with sandwiches, pastries, and more for the humans plus a pet snack dispenser for the dogs. Then there’s the great big patio with a killer view where dogs can mingle.  mudpuppys.com/#!cafe

14. Best Dog-Friendly Winery

Mutt Lynch – Healdsburg     37%
Mountain Winery – Saratoga     24%
Rosenblum Cellars – Alameda     21%
Treasure Island Wines – Treasure Island     18%

Well heck, it’s right there in the name and the motto: “Dreaming of a leash free world.” Such a world seems very close in Healdsburg, where the pooches romp while the wine says “stay” to their humans. Partial proceeds from the sale of Mutt Lynch wines benefit local animal rescue organizations. 602 Limerick Lane, Healdsburg. muttlynchwinery.com.

15. Best Dog-Friendly Bakery

Annabee’s – Pacifica     45%
Sit & Stay Cafe, Point Isabel – Richmond     32%
Paw Patch Pastries – SF (web only)    14%
Barkn Belly Bakery – Morgan Hill (web only)    10%

Annabee’s is dog central at Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica. There’s gear for your pets, as well as fresh made treats for dogs including pizza, cookies, cakes, and more. All you people types can bring in food from local restaurants. Annabee’s is in the Pedro Point Shopping Center at Linda Mar Beach. Check the website for directions: annabees.com.

16. Best Pet Superstore

Pet Food Express     46%
PetSmart     24%
PetCo    17%
Pet Club     13%

We’re so happy that our reader’s love Pet Food Express as much as we do! Covering the Bay Area with their super well-stocked stores, encouraging you to “Express your love for your pets,” and supporting local shelters with regular shipments of food and supplies, they certainly deserve the titled of Best Pet Superstore! petfoodexpress.com

17. Best Pet Boutique

Holistic Hound – Berkeley     40%
Pawtrero Bathhouse and Feed Co. – San Francisco     26%
Dogbone Alley – Alameda     18%
Sunset Pet Supply – San Francisco     16%

Knowledgeable, friendly, and willing to help you navigate natural and complementary pet care for many common problems, the staff at Berkeley’s Holistic Hound take good care of customers. Food, treats, supplements, gear, and books (including recipe books!) are all of the highest quality and responsibly sourced, part of what makes Holistic Hound a repeat winner! 1510 Walnut St., Berkeley. holistichound.com.

18. Best Doggie Birthday Present

Massage from Happy Hounds     35%
Paw Patch Pastry     26%
A Paco Collar     24%
SIRIUS® Nose Work Classes     15%

There’s a reason why dogs love to be petted and massaged; they need it for pain relief and stress reduction, just like we do. Recognizing that dogs can’t tell us where it hurts, massage therapist Shelah Barr has studied to the natural movements of dogs, detecting points of inflammation and pain. Her doggie massages aim to alleviate such problems and promote more comfortable movement. www.happyhoundsmassage.com.

19. Best Locally-Made Dog Stuff

Jeffrey’s Natural Pet Foods – San Francisco     37%
Paco Collars – Berkeley     32%
FYDO dog beds – Berkeley     19%
MaSnax Treats – Sonoma     12%
 

As a producer and purveyor of locally sourced natural food products for dogs, Jeffrey’s is our voters’ favorite in this hotly contested category. Despite its official name, Jeffrey’s doesn’t just sell food. You’ll find loads of other useful – and just plain fun – items for your furry friends at Jeffrey’s two locations: Dolores Park, 3809 18th St @ Church; North Beach at1841 Powell St @ Greenwich.  jeffreysnaturalpetfood.com

20. Best Veterinary Clinic

Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital – Berkeley     33%
San Francisco Vet Specialists – San Francisco     25%
Mission Pet Hospital – San Francisco     23%
Linda Mar Veterinary Clinic – Pacifica     18%

When your dog needs emergency attention, Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital is open 24 hours to help; after hours care is how many people find them. As a full-service, small veterinary hospital, it offers dental care, boarding, and specialists who provide cutting-edge veterinary medicine. Berkeley Dog & Cat has been treating the Bay Area’s pets for over 100 years and continues to offer a high standard of care that has earned the loyalty of Bay Woof readers. 2126 Haste St, Berkeley. berkeleydogandcat.com.

21. Best Veterinarian

Dr. Ilana Strubel, DVM; Linda Mar Veterinary Hospital – Pacifica     35%
Dr. Jenny Taylor, Creature Comfort Holistic Veterinary Center – Oakland     23%
Dr. Adam Piaseczny, Healthy Pets Veterinary Hospital – San Francisco     23%
Dr. Molly Rice; Coastal Holistic Complementary Veterinary Services – Pacifica     18%

Our voters agree that Dr. Ilana Strubel is a pillar of the local veterinarian community – and for good reason. When she’s not working as a sought-after animal doctor at Linda Mar Veterinary Clinic in Pacifica, she contributes a great deal of time and passion to local animal causes. She is founder of VetSOS, which provides veterinary services to the pets of homeless people in San Francisco, and has served on the boards of Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS), San Francisco Aid for Animals, and Rocket Dog Rescue.  985 Linda Mar Blvd., Pacifica. lindamarvet.com.

22. Best Canine Chiropractor

Lisa Koenig, DC; Holistic Veterinary Care – Oakland     30%
Margret Holiday, DC; Creature Comforts – Oakland     29%
Gary Richter, MS, DVM; Holistic Veterinary
Care – Oakland    21%
Wendy Wallace, DC; Four Seasons Animal
Hospital – Lafayette     20%

Based in Piedmont, Lisa Koenig is trained in both chiropractic and kinesiology. She works with the Holistic Veterinary Care group in Oakland to provide a full spectrum of care to animals, including physical therapy and rehabilitation after accidents and for degenerative diseases, including arthritis. We humans should be so lucky. 4382 Piedmont, Oakland. holisticvetcare.com.

23. Best Canine Massage Therapist

Deborah Ellen, Spirited Paws Canine Massage – Berkeley     28%
Heather Sanders, Wags n Wellness – SF Bay Area     27%
Shelah Barr, Happy Hound Massage – San Francisco     26%
Cathy Chen-Rennie, The Rex Center – Pacifica     18%

We all know how good a massage can feel – our dogs feel the same way! And massage can improve range of motion, provide relief from chronic pain and discomfort, improve circulation, and provode great relief for older animals. Bay Woof readers recommend the caring hands of Deborah Ellen! spiritedpaws.net.

24. Best Alternative Medicine Provider

Jenny Taylor, DVM; Creature Comfort Holistic Veterinary Center – Oakland     29%
Gary Richter, MS, DVM; Holistic Veterinary Care – Oakland     27%
Molly Rice, DVM, Coastal Holistic Complementary Veterinary Services – Pacifica     26%
Rachael Feigenbaum, DVM; Lotus Veterinary House Calls     19%

Once again, Bay Woof readers have handed the first place BOTB award in this category to Dr. Jenny Taylor and Creature Comfort Holistic Veterinary Center in Oakland. In addition to offering both mainstream and holistic healing modalities for sick and injured pets, Dr. Taylor and her staff provide true TLC to animal patients and their humans. Wouldn’t it be great if our veterinarians were kind friends as well as skilled practitioners? At Creature Comfort, readers say, they are. 2501 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland. www.creaturecomfort.com.

25. Best Canine Rehab Facility

The Canine Rehabilitation Center (Muller Veterinary Hospital) –
Walnut Creek     36%
The Rex Center – Pacifica     26%
The Sams Clinic – Mill Valley     20%
Scout’s House – Menlo Park     18%

Back for another win this year, The Canine Rehabilitation Center offers a full range of services for recuperating dogs, from an underwater treadmill for hydrotherapy to laser treatments to a Biomagnetics Therapy System, and more. Certified vet techs can help get your pooch into shape after surgery or injury, help deal with chronic problems, or just give your pup a health tune-up. Post-surgical patients must be referred by a licensed veterinarian. 2735 North Main St., Walnut Creek. thek9rehabcenter.com

26. Best Dog Groomer

Bow Wow Meow – San Francisco     37%
All About the DOGue – Emeryville     28%
Bernie’s Grooming – San Francisco     19%
Kate’s Cat & Dog Salon – San Francisco     17%

Bow Wow Meow is a full-service groomer, offering training classes in addition to bathing, clipping, teeth cleaning, and styling. Daaahling, it’s more important to feel good than to look good… Well maybe, but all reports indicate that your pet is going to leave Bow Wow Meow looking sensational. 2150 Polk Street, San Francisco. www.bowwowmeow.net.

27. Best Dog Wash (self-serve)

Pet Food Express, various locations – SF Bay Area     43%
Paws & Claws – Oakland     21%
K-9 Scrub Club – San Francisco     18%
Pawtrero – San Francisco     17%

Pet Food Express has self-service pet washes at 33 of their Bay Area locations where you can wash your dog and not worry about the mess, the height of the tub, or having everything handy. The Buy-Three-Get-the-Fourth Free program is a great deal – as many of our voters can attest! petfoodexpress.com.

28. Best Dog Walker

Molly Kenefik, Doggy Lama – Oakland     36%
Courtney Gunter-Durbin, The Whole Pet – San Francisco     29%
Glenn McTaggart, The Love of Dogs –  CITY     21%
Walt Bell, Black Nose Trading Co. – San Francisco     14%

For the third year running, Molly Kenefick of Doggy Lama Pet Care in Oakland has been named Best Dog Walker by Bay Woof readers. Maybe it’s because she and her experienced team offer group “adventure hikes” for dogs, making good use of the East Bay’s amazing dog-friendly trails and beaches – and you get to watch the fun, or at least check in, via a Flckr photostream at www.flickr.com/photos/doggylama. Your pups will romp exuberantly with others of their kind and come home feeling calm and content… all ready to relish your company. www.doggylamapetcare.com

29. Best Dog Sitter

Courtney Gunter-Durbin, The Whole Pet – San Francisco     37%
Erin Graves, All About the DOGue – East Bay     26%
Maureen Goldlist, All Fur Love Pet Care – East Bay     21%
Bill Brobst, Go Lucky Paws – South Bay 16%

Courtney Gunter-Durbin of San Francisco has garnered loads of votes every year in both the Dog Sitter and Dog Walker categories, winning as Best Sitter in both 2009 and 2010. This year she’s back on top, having edged out some heavy competition. The mission of her business, The Whole Pet, is to “help pets and their people find balance so they can work together and live harmoniously.” Sounds great, doesn’t it? Courtney and her team can help get you there by providing skilled dog training, boarding, and walking services. And if yours is an equal opportunity menagerie, they can also take care of your cats.  thewholepet.net

30. Best Doggie Daycare

Muttley Crew – San Francisco     30%
Wag Hotels – San Francisco     28%
MetroDog – Richmond     20%
Pride and Pedigree – Oakland     23%

Offering puppy play groups and adult doggy day care, The Muttley Crew encourages every dog in its care to “put your best paw forward.” Voters gave them 1st place for another year of excellence in providing cherished pets with a safe, fun, and happy home away from home. www.muttleycrewsf.com. 495 Carolina St., San Francisco

31. Best Overnight Boarder

Wag Hotel – San Francisco     36%
Metro Dog – Richmond     24%
The Whole Pet – San Francisco     21%
High Tail Hotel – San Francisco     20%

There is nothing worse than having to leave your dog behind when you travel. You can’t explain why, and life is suddenly uncertain for your pal who prefers to have everything in its place. The Wag Hotel works hard to provide a comforting environment where there’s plenty of activity your dog will love. With luck, you’ll hardly be missed! Wag also offers grooming, training, and day care. 25 14th St., San Francisco. waghotels.com

32. Best Training Class

SIRIUS® Puppy and Dog Training – SF Bay Area     29%
Marin Humane Society – Marin     27%
Bravo!Pup – East Bay     23%
ARF U at Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation – Walnut Creek     21%

As all local dog lovers know, the Bay Area is home to countless great dog trainers and behaviorists. Many were mentioned on BOTB ballots this year, but in the end the grand prize went once again to Sirius. Launched by Ian Dunbar 25 years ago, this venerable training organization teaches and promotes positive methods that turn clueless and fearful and aggressive dogs into well-balanced family pets. Many Sirius personnel specialize in the training of puppies, in keeping with Dunbar’s early socialization manifesto. For a list of class offerings and a great library of training articles and videos, dubbed Dog Star Daily, visit siriuspup.com

33. Best Private Trainer

Sandra Mannion – SF Bay Area     31%
Courtney Gunter Durbin – The Whole Pet     27%
Kelley Filson – DogEvolve     22%
Gail Chadbourne – Bark Busters     20%

In the SF Bay Area, where dog trainers and caretakers number the hundreds (or is it thousands?), making the top four in this highly sought after category takes plenty of determination and a lot of loyal followers. Once again, Sandra Mannion, CPDT rises to the top! Need help with that out-of-hand Pomeranian? Sandra can help. sandramannion.com

34. Best Dog Photographer

Lori Cheung – thepetphotographer.com     38%
Mark Rogers – markrogersphotography.com     25%
Jesse Freidin – jessefreidin.com     19%
Chickpea Photography – chickpeaphotographystudio.com     18%

Award-winning photographer Lori Cheung is famous for her ability to instill joy for her work in the images she captures. As if that’s not enough, she started an organization called Pets for World Peace “create inspiring art and educational media to raise awareness and funds for non-profit organizations.” Her charitable work for PAWS, SF/SPCA, and many other animal organizations, along with the quality of her work, make her a favorite of Bay Woof readers. thepetphotographer.com

35. Best Pet Artist

Kathleen Hill – kathleenhill.com     31%
Stephanie Lam – studiopet.com     30%
Delaine Hackney – delainemosaic     20%
Andrew Carson – carsonthird.com     19%

Kathleen Keil Hill’s portraits combine her love of painting with her love of animals. Her vision and talent capture each animal’s unique personality and posture in a wonderfully vibrant painting. The love shines through! kathleenhill.com

36. Best Dog-Friendly Lodgings

Cypress Inn – Carmel     38%
Russian River Getaways – Sonoma County     24%
Inn at Schoolhouse Creek – Mendocino     19%
Sheep Dung Estates – Boonville     18%

This gorgeous boutique hotel believes everyone deserves a vacation. Not only does the inn accept dogs, it welcomes them to join you throughout the hotel, in the cozy living room for afternoon tea, and in the charming courtyard for breakfast or evening appetizers. The Cypress Inn website even includes a doggie concierge to show you around the pet-centered attractions of Carmel. 7th Ave., Carmel.  cypress-inn.com.

37. Best Day Trip with Dog

Half Moon Bay     34%
Carmel     29%
Point Reyes     28%
Monterey     10%

Without a doubt, Half Moon Bay is a great get-away for you and your pooch. Did BOTB voters make it #1 due to the article in our April 2011 issue that touted its many fur-friendly attractions? We’ll never know, but if you want to join the dog-friendly fun in this coastside burg, check out some shopping, dining, sightseeing, and lodging options at baywoof.com/article.php?id=77.

38. Best Dog-Friendly Campground

Mount Madonna County Park – Santa Clara     37%
Samuel P Taylor State Park – Lagunitas     33%
Anthony Chabot Campground – Castro Valley     26%
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park – Big Sur     4%

Dogs are welcome to camp with you at this redwood-forested park. Majestic trees, breathtaking views, and trails that offer a range of difficulty and are open to dogs, make Mt. Madonna County Park a lovely destination for a day trip or camping expedition. parkhere.org

39. Best Rescue Group

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue     43%
BADRAP Pitbull Rescue     24%
Furry Friends Rescue     17%
Rocket Dog Rescue     15%

There are many excellent organizations in the Bay Area dedicated to saving the lives of animals whose futures would otherwise be grim. To our voters, the work of Muttville Senior Dog Rescue goes above and beyond the howl of duty. The group’s countless events reaching diverse communities brought them into the top four in many categories this year. In just five years, the dedicated efforts of founder Sherri Franklin and her team of volunteers have saved thousands of canine lives. Way to go, Muttville – BW readers love you!  muttville.org

40. Best Humane Organization

San Francisco Animal Care & Control     30%
Berkeley East Bay Humane Society     25%
East Bay SPCA     23%
Humane Society Silicon Valley     21%

One of the hardest working municipal departments in the city of San Francisco, the One of the hardest working city departments in San Francisco, Animal Care and Control is responsible for “enforcement of all state and local Animal Control and Welfare laws,” aka Animal Cops! Supported by the tireless efforts of its auxiliary organization, the Friends of Animal Care and Control, SFACC saved countless animals from neglect and abuse in 2011, earning them this coveted award from Bay Woof readers. helpacc.org.

41. Best Canine Cause

Give A Dog A Bone – Support for long-term shelter dogs     41%
Muttville – Senior Dog Rescue     25%
BADRAP – Pit Bull Rescue     23%
VetSOS – Veterinary care for the companion animals of homeless San Franciscans     12%

In 1999, Corinne Dowling’s big heart drove her to create a program for long-term shelter dogs housed at San Francisco Animal Care & Control that would “relieve the isolation, boredom, stress, and suffering of dogs in enforced custody and medical isolation.” You can’t get much more compassionate than that. Many of GADAB’s canine clients never make it out of the shelter, which makes the organization’s work that much more important and admirable. gadab.org

42. Best Fundraising Event

Moolah for Mutts – Muttville     33%
Pet Pride Day – SF ACC     29%
Growl, Meow & Wine – EBSPCA     24%
Petchitecture – PAWS     14%

Muttville held this “enchanted evening” at San Francisco’s historic Swedish American Hall last year, raising funds for their excellent work in giving senior dogs a good shot at finding happy homes. Picking up their second award this year, Muttville continues to lead the pack in improving the lives of local pooches. muttville.org

43. Best Dog Blog

Dog Star Daily – dogstardaily.com/blogs     31%
Spoiled Bitch – spoiledbitch.net     27%
Grouchy Puppy – grouchypuppy.com     22%
The Daily Puglet – dailypuglet.com     21%

The Dog Star Daily from Sirius Puppy and Dog Training is well named. It’s a true newspaper, featuring up-to-the-minute stories and insightful reporting. Start your morning with a cup of coffee and the Dog Star Daily, steeping yourself in the fascinating world of canines. It’s a lot less stressful than the NYTimes.

44. Best Dog Social Networking Site

Dogster – dogster.com     41%
DogTime – dogtime.com    29%
East Bay SPCA’s Facebook Page – facebook.com/EBSPCA     17%
Dog Star Daily – dogstardaily.com     13%

Dog news, breed info, adoptable cuties, advice and support for a dog-centric community – you’ll find all of this and more on the Facebook of the canine world. And if your dog has more friends than you do, don’t worry! Dogster is all about letting our furry best friends lead the way.

45. Best Online Dog Boutique

Nutt Butt Bakery – nuttbuttbakery.com     30%
K9 Scrub Club – k9scrubclub.com     27%
Mijo and Bambi – mijoandbambi.com     23%
P.L.A.Y. – petplay.com     20%

Nutt Butt Bakery isn’t really a bakery, but a darned cute website with designer duds for dogs. You’ll be tempted by the sweaters and hoodies, but don’t miss other possible presents for the pooch, including treats, dog-centric bowls that provide easy access to food and water, and designer poop bags.

46. Best Online Vet Advice

Pet MD – petmd.com     43%
“Ask Dr Dog” column – baywoof.com     37%
Dogged Health – doggedhealth.com     13%
Dr. Karen Becker – healthypets.mercola.com     7%

Considering its A to Z articles about various dog diseases and a handy symptom checker, it’s no wonder our readers are enthusiastic about PetMD. Other helpful sections of the site include News, where you can keep abreast of pet product recalls, and Forums, where you can post about issues of concern and get feedback from other site users. PetMD is comprehensive, easy to navigate, and visually engaging. All good!

47. Best Online Adoption site

Pet Finder – petfinder.com     47%
Muttville – muttville.org     29%
BADRAP – badrap.org     14%
Northern California Pet Adoptions – norcalpetadoptions.com     11%

The pet adoption equivalent of a major online dating site, Petfinder is a great place to start looking for a new pet (not just dogs & cats, but guinea pigs, rabbits, pigs, and more). Search by location, breed, and/or rescue group and you’ll soon find a new sweetheart. 

48. Best Overall Website for Dog Lovers

Dogtime – dogtime.com     41%
Dogster – dogster.com     26%
Dog Star Daily – dogstardaily.com     18%
Bay Area Canine Network – dogs.bayequest.info     16%

There are so many useful, valuable, and interesting sites for dog lovers out there, but our voters say Dogtime does it best, with news, resources for finding the right dog, training, and lovely personal stories. Great for newbies as well as experienced dog parents, as the site offers basic information along with real expertise.

Main article photo by: mattmignanelli.com