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Beast of the Bay Awards 2015

Every winter for the last seven years, we have invited our readers to cozy up with their furry companions and consider the awesome richness of the Bay Area dog scene. There are hundreds of excellent trainers and groomers and veterinarians in these parts and thousands of great places to play and eat and hike with our dogs. It’s a tough assignment to narrow down each of the 56 categories to just one winner and three runners-up. But once again you took it on, and now the results are in. The list of winning candidates in our 2015 Beast of the Bay Awards starts here. Thanks to all who participated and hearty woofs to the winners!

1. Best thing to happen to Bay Area dogs in 2014
Dogs legal on patios at more restaurants!

Thank you, State of California! Last summer Jerry Brown signed the “Dining with Dogs” law introduced by Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada. So as of January 1, dogs are allowed on restaurant patios (at the discretion of restaurant owners) as long as certain requirements are met, i.e. the dog is on a leash, not in food preparation areas, etc. Now more dining establishments with outdoor seating are improved by the presence of canine pals basking in the sun, or fog – but probably not rain.

Fort Funston still open to off-leash dogs
More off-leash dog parks in the Bay Area, including in Mountain View, Hayward, and Oakland
Rocket Dog Rescue opens Urban Sanctuary & Adoption Center

2. Best Dog-Friendly Politician
San Francisco Supervisor David Campos,

David Campos may have lost his recent bid for a State Assembly seat, but his consistent advocacy on behalf of dogs and his all-around progressive voting record makes him a big winner with our readers. It’s likely that his outspoken opposition to the restrictive new dog management plan proposed for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area has helped keep the dastardly changes at bay… so far, anyway.
Supervisor Scott Wiener,
Governor Jerry Brown,
President Barack Obama,

3. Best Dog-Friendly Workplace

To hear our readers tell it, this place has it all. Get your laundry done, eat all your meals here, and bring your furry friend to work! Google’s pet-friendly policy has dog-loving employees wagging their way to work. Just one question to type into the search engine: Can my dog ride the Google Bus to work with me?
Pet Food Express,

4. Best Dog Park
Point Isabel,

With beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin County hills from this landscaped 23-acre park at the west end of Central Avenue in Richmond, it’s no surprise how much our readers love this locale, one of the largest public off-leash dog parks in the nation. The variety of trails means there is something for every human and canine, from eager pups to serene seniors. Mudpuppy’s Tub & Scrub and the Sit & Stay Café are right next to the Pt. Isabel parking lot, so this destination covers all the bases.
Fort Funston,
Alameda Dog Park,
Crissy Field,

5. Best Hiking Trail
Fort Funston,

A perennial favorite in the Beast of Bay Awards, Fort Funston reigns again in 2015. But the right to romp with dogs at this fabulous location has required a sustained campaign against Golden Gate National Recreation Area officials who want to initiate new canine-unfriendly policies. With its gorgeous, wind-swept expanses on the edge of the Pacific, Fort Funston is one of the places that defines San Francisco. We are here at the edge of the sea, where the view goes on forever. We can do anything, we can go anywhere, and we’re taking our dogs with us.
Redwood Regional Park,
Land’s End,
Tilden Park,

6. Best View with a Dog
Bernal Heights Park,

There are so many stunning Bay Area spots where the beauty could bring you to your knees. Still, say our voters, Bernal Heights Park is special. It’s smack dab in the middle of a San Francisco residential neighborhood, for one thing, so somehow you don’t expect such expansive views from the top of the hill. Or maybe the short but strenuous hike up takes your breath away and that feeling keeps growing as you look up and out. No words can explain it – just grab your dog and go!
Crissy Field,
Fort Funston,
Land’s End,

7. Best Canine Sports Event
Wiggle Waggle Walk annual fundraiser,

Though not a sports event in the traditional sense, this annual fundraiser for Alameda Animal Shelter, which happens each June, definitely delights our readers. Festivities include contests, pet-friendly entertainment, a fashion show, and of course a fund-raising walk in support of the shelter’s year-round efforts to find loving homes for the local dogs who need them.
Oakland Athletics Bark in the Park,
San Francisco Giants Dog Days at AT&T Park,
Agility trials and tournaments, various clubs including Bay Team,

8. Best Adult Dog Play Group/Event
Zoom Room Doggy Socials,

Our voters are fans of many fantastic play groups, but when all the votes were counted Zoom Room’s socials leapt to the top. With separate areas for under-30-pound and over-30-pound dogs happening twice a week, it’s a great fit for playful pups. And don’t miss the indoor gym.
Wag Hotels dog socials,
Metro Dog socials,
Good Dog Daycare socials,

9. Best Puppy Social
Sirius Puppy Training,

Okay, let’s talk puppies. They need love as well as training, and for most people there’s nothing better than a great training class to jump start the process. The Sirius methods developed by Dr. Ian Dunbar and staff mix fun and work for the benefit and enjoyment of human and canine students alike. Puppy gatherings emphasize socialization by letting the dogs interact, off-leash as well as on, with a variety of people in diverse situations. On a slow weekend, Sirius puppy socials serve as pretty good spectator entertainment, too.
Zoom Room Puppy Playtime,
SF Puppy Prep,
Bravo Pup,

10. Best Fresh Water Bowl
Holistic Hound,

A trained homeopath and life-long animal lover, Heidi Hill opened her natural pet boutique in Berkeley’s gourmet ghetto in 2003 to help improve the health and longevity of dogs – and cats, too. With a Siberian Husky named Pearl by her side, she has built the business into a trusted source for top-of-the line foods, natural medicines, and other essentials. You can also order up anesthesia-free teeth cleanings and comprehensive medical consultations. And then there’s that trusty water bowl for visiting canines, our reader’s top pick for 2015.
Jeffrey’s Natural Pet Foods,
Bow Wow Meow,
Black Nose Trading Co.,

11. Best Free Treats

Following up on its win in the Best Doggy Birthday Present category last year, Jeffrey’s takes top honors in 2015 for Best Free Treats. The company’s three San Francisco locations are renowned for homemade fresh pet foods and eco-friendly toys. Employees love to pamper canine visitors with tasty tidbits, so a visit to the store locations in Noe Valley/Castro, Bernal Heights, and North Beach will make your dog pant with joy.
Holistic Hound,
Pet Food Express,

12. Best Dog-Friendly Restaurant
Half Moon Bay Brewery,

Taking top honors for the fourth year in a row, Half Moon Bay Brewery beats the competition with its welcoming vibe that extends beyond mere humans. This super dog-friendly hangout pampers pooches with house-made dog treats and friendly ear scratches. Dubbed Maverick Bones after nearby surfing mecca The Mavericks, these special treats are crafted using spent grains from the brewing process. Strictly for human consumption, the artisanal beer made here is awesome, too.
Dolores Park Café,
Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar,
Park Chow,

13. Best Dog-Friendly Bar
El Rio,

First of all, you’ve got to have a great bar to have a great dog-friendly hangout – and the El Rio in San Francisco’s Mission District has that part down. With great music, great drinks, and a dog-friendly back patio, it’s the perfect place to take advantage of the mild weather. Here’s an important secret about dogs:  they love hanging out in bars and are just waiting for you to take them along.
Doc’s Clock, San Francisco,
Heart & Dagger Saloon, Oakland,
Prizefighter Bar, Emeryville,

14. Best Dog-Friendly Coffee House
Duboce Park Café,

San Francisco’s Duboce Park Café serves up vibrant food and organic fair-trade coffee right across the street from a beloved canine recreation destination – you guessed it – Duboce Park. Dogs receive a warm welcome at its outdoor tables, upon which you will be served local, sustainable, and delicious food and awesome coffee. Our readers’ take on the place? Two thumbs (and four paws) up!
Dolores Park Café,
Sit & Stay Cafe at Point Isabel,

15. Best Dog-Friendly Winery
Mutt Lynch,

Once again, Mutt Lynch Winery takes the prize for best place to sip wines while petting dogs. The winery’s motto – Apply Dog Logic to Life: Eat Well, Be Loved, Get Petted, Sleep A lot, Dream of a Leash-Free World – written by whimsical author and artist SARK, says it all. With names like Unleashed Chardonnay and Merlot Over and Play Dead, you know playfulness and canine love abound here. Owners Chris and Brenda Lynch (supervised by their dog Patch) have been making canine-inspired wine for years and winning lots of prizes along the way. And they support local animals in a hundred different ways.
Rosenblum Cellars,
Navarro Vineyards,
Uptick Vineyards,

16. Best Dog-Friendly Bakery
Three Dogs Bakery,

For the second year in a row, readers and their pups love the natural and tasty oven-fresh fare at Three Dog Bakery best of all. These folks pay careful attention to ingredients and cooking techniques to ensure highest nutrient value for your buck. Naturally, your dog only cares that the Roll-Over Rewards and Beg-als, in flavors ranging from peanut to cheese to vanilla, taste really good!
Okashi Barkery,
Le Marcel,
Sweet Adeline Bakery,

17. Best Pet Super Store
Pet Food Express,

Pet Food Express has won plenty of BOBA contests over the years, as well as national awards for its commitment to animal causes. But employees haven’t let all the positive press go to their heads. If you come in with a problem or question, these people invariably take their time to understand what you’re talking about and give you knowledgeable advice. What dog people probably love best about PFE are the well-designed dog washing stations and the competitive prices for high-quality pet foods.
PetCo Unleashed,
Pet Club,

18. Best Pet Boutique
Holistic Hound,

Holistic Hound is a mecca for animal lovers who want top-of-the-line products to keep their dogs vibrantly healthy. As a trained homeopath, owner Heidi Hill is deeply steeped in the holisitic health philosophy. She has stocked the store with tried-and-true nutritional supplements and other gentle yet effective “alternative” medicines. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and eager to help. Bay Woof readers recommend it most highly!
Paws and Claws, Oakland,
Jeffrey’s Natural Pet Foods,
Noe Valley Pet Company,

19. Best Doggie Birthday Present
A Paco Collar,

When it’s time to commemorate another trip around the sun for Fido, look no further than Paco Collars. Paco’s bejeweled and bedazzled neckwear for dogs is renowned for snazzy style and fine craftsmanship. In addition to terrific products, Paco Collars offers collar-making classes and will customize items to your precise specs. Your dog can look extra sparkly and stylish with a Paco Collar manufactured in Berkeley.
Goods from Holistic Hound,
Goods from Jeffrey’s Natural Pet Food,
A new squeaky toy, many locations

20. Best Locally-Made Dog Stuff
Bark Stix,

According to our voters, pooches can’t get enough of the tasty treats from Bark Stix, prepared in Point Richmond using locally raised produce and meats along with organic flours. Whether it’s Dudley’s Do-Right Training Treats or Salmon Sweetie Pies, dogs come running for these locally made snacks.
Boo Boo’s Best,
Paco Collars,

21. Best Pet Clothing Designs/Designer

Darling, it isn’t what you wear, it’s where you buy it! George SF has several pet boutiques in the Bay Area and Santa Barbara. Although you can order a wide range of pet bling and accessories at the company’s website, the George stores are designed to enhance your shopping experience. Visiting dogs are treated to tasty morsels along with a little love from the staff while their people shop for  new coats, collars, beds, and whatever else appeals.
Mijo & Bambi,

22. Best Dog-Friendly General Retail Store
Sports Basement,

Pets are welcome on-leash at this sporting goods shop offering essential gear and gadgets for snowboarders, skiers, hikers, climbers, bikers and just about every other type of athlete. Our voters love the great selection, reasonable prices, and – of course – dog-friendliness of the place. Sports Basement is community minded, too, offering lots of free classes and other events to its customers and neighbors.
Cliffs Variety,
Cole Hardware,
Home Depot,

23. Best Veterinary Clinic
Creature Comfort Holistic Veterinary Center,

Finding the right medical clinic for you precious pooch can be a challenge. You want friendly service, a convenient location, and most of all excellent care. This year’s BOBA voters say Creature Comfort Holistic Veterinary Center in Oakland delivers on all counts. Its balance of conventional and complementary approaches to canine wellness, combined with a relaxing and kid-friendly environment, adds up to a great experience for all.
East Bay SPCA veterinary services,
Healthy Pets Veterinary Hospital,
Montclair Veterinary Hospital,

24. Best Veterinarian:
Dr. Rachael Feigenbaum, Lotus Veterinary House Calls,

With a degree in Veterinary Medicine and certification in veterinary acupuncture, Dr. Feigenbaum brings her holistic approach to pet care directly to your home. Her service to animals extends beyond her patients, too.  She is a dedicated volunteer with Pets Are Wonderful Support (, where she has served on the Board of Directors, and Veterinary Street Outreach Services (, which provides free care to pets of the homeless population of San Francisco.
Dr. Dave Reed,
Dr. Jenny Taylor,
Dr. Ilana Strubel,

25. Best Canine Chiropractor
Betsey Carpenter,

There are a lot of ways your dog can get out of alignment. No, he probably didn’t try to move the couch by himself, but he might have been injured by overly rambunctious play, a fall, or maybe an ill-advised jump. When you take into account the steady toll of aging and maybe a less-than-healthy lifestyle, it’s clear your canine friend could benefit from some healing hands. Betsy Carpenter provides chiropractic services for people and animals. Our voters appreciate her healing approach that shows immediate results.
Deb Sell,
Margaret Holiday,
Lisa Koenig,

26. Best Canine Massage Therapist
Shelah Barr,

Shelah Barr’s healing gifts can do a lot for your dog, whether he’s an athlete at his peak, recent surgery patient on the mend, or a stiff and sore senior citizen. Just like with humans, even when there are no known health issues, regular massage can increase well-being and reduce stress. Shelah Barr earns top BOBA honors this year (and repeatedly) for never failing to make Rover feel better.
Eri Suzaki,
Joy Greer Walker,
Anastasia Lang,

27. Best Alternative Medicine Provider
Dr. Gary Richter,

Dr. Richter specializes in problems with multiple causes and no easy answers. His expert combining of holistic therapies, including acupuncture and chiropractic, gives our voters a lot of confidence in his care. As owner and medical director of Montclair Veterinary Hospital since 2002, Dr. Richter has been caring for Bay Area pets and their people in for a long while. His adjunct holistic clinic expands your dog’s treatment options to ensure not just his health but his total wellbeing.
Jenny Taylor, Creature Comfort Holistic Vet Care
Dr Anne Reed,
Rachael Feigenbaum,

28. Best Canine Therapy Facility
Holistic Veterinary Care and Rehabilitation Center,

This top-notch clinic, owned and operated by frequent Bay Woof contributor Dr. Gary Richter (also winner of this year’s award for Best Alternative Medicine Provider), specializes in problems with multiple causes and no easy answers. The docs here take time to understand everything that’s going on with your dog and then recommend a specialized treatment plan that may include nutrition guidance, acupuncture, and applied kinesiology. The warm water pool and pulsed signal therapy can help dogs recover from surgery faster. It’s the complete package for your dog’s complete wellness.
The Rex Center,
Muller Veterinary and Rehabilitation,
The Sams Clinic,

29. Best Emergency Care
San Francisco Veterinary Specialists,

May your dog never need this team of top-notch doctors. The clinic specializes in emergency care and the doctors and staff are praised for the additional effort they put out to soothe the worried people in the waiting room while sick and injured animals are being treated. When your dog is seriously sick or injured you want Cadillac care, and our readers say you can count on it here.
SAGE Centers Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Care,
Nor Cal Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital,
All Animals Emergency Hospital,

30. Best Dog Friendly Pool
The Rex Center,

Swimming, especially in warm water, is just what the doctor ordered for arthritic dogs and those recovering from injury or surgery. The low-impact workout and gentle heat are soothing yet stimulating and can help improve mobility for aging dogs. Our voters report that, thanks to the The Rex Center’s hydrotherapy services, their dogs are healing faster and enjoying the process!
Holistic Veterinary Care and Rehabilitation Center,
Pet Camp,
McLaren Park reservoir,

31. Best Mobile Veterinary Practice
Lotus Veterinarian House Calls,

BOBA voters agree that Lotus Veterinarian House Calls, owned and operated by this year’s Best Veterinarian award winner Rachael Feigenbaum, takes the top prize for its gentle, caring approach to diagnosing and treating our pets in the comfort of our own homes. Lotus provides a wide range of services without the need to transport our sick and scared furry friends. How great (and convenient) is that?
Blue Sparrow Holistic Veterinary House Calls,
East Bay Mobile Country Vet,
A Well Adjusted Pet,

32. Best Dog Groomer
Tim Cosgrove, Dirty Dog Mobile Grooming,

With Tim’s Dirty Dog service, your canine gets special treatment with hypoallergenic and biodegradable dog grooming products. Plus you’ll love the ease and convenience of having a fully-equipped groomer come directly to your home. Our voters this year say it’s a clean win for Tim!
Under One Woof,
Max Orbita,

33. Best Dog Wash (self-serve)
Pet Food Express,

This locally-owned company has cracked the code on dog washing. At its many locations in the greater Bay Area,  bathing areas are outfitted with raised tubs that keep you eye level with your dog, aprons to keep you from getting soaked, and tie downs if should they be necessary. There are dryers at the ready so you and your dog can prance on out of there with dignity. Compare that to the last time you washed your pooch at home: water everywhere, you wet and exhausted, and Le Dog already rolling in the dirt. Just go to the nearest PFE store, already!
Green Pawz,

34. Best Dog Walker
David Levin,

David Levin, owner of Citizen Hound in San Francisco, beat out the rest of the pack this year in this hotly contested category. David and his co-walkers take an athletic approach to the task.  They don’t just walk dogs, they work them, providing socialization, stimulation, and physical exercise in abundance. Great customer service and a commitment to positive training approaches complete the winning package.
Jeannine Yep,
Michael Mojica,
Josh Boutell,

35. Best Dog Sitter
Dog Tales Walking and Sitting Service,

Dog Tales tops our winners list again this year. Offering overnight care, cageless boarding, and play groups for its furry clientele, Dog Tales covers all the bases. Leaving your precious pet with strangers can be a tough choice, but our voters say you can rest assured when you’ve hired Dog Tales.
Citizen Hound,
The Whole Pet,
Joan Mapou,

36. Best Doggie Daycare
Good Dog Daycare,

Dogs at this popular Hayward daycare center are matched with friends of similar size and activity level. At the indoor doggy sports field, they play games of tag, tug a toy, and more. The good folks at Good Dogs establish cooperation with the dogs in their care by learning about their individual characteristics, their personalities, and what works best for them – thus making every day a fun play day for your best buddy.
Dr. Dave’s Doggie Day Care,
Wag Hotels,
Metro Dog,

37. Best Overnight Boarder
Camp Lisa,

Camp Lisa offers a structured environment where dogs can hang out together under careful staff supervision in case problems arise. Some dogs are able to get along with other dogs in social situations when they come back home. If you can’t take your dog along on vacation, it sure helps to know she’s having fun and being well cared for in your absence!
Citizen Canine,
Wag Hotels,
Happy Hound,

38. Best Training Class

Dr. Ian Dunbar founded Sirius nearly three decades ago, advancing the then radical notion that young puppies could be trained at all and that adult dogs could handle a lot more rigorous curriculum than repetitive obedience commands. Today, the Sirius network of trainers and classes continues to offer top-notch learning opportunities to Bay Area dogs and their people, all based on positive methods and a true love of dogs.
Zoom Room,
Koru K9 Dog Training and Rehabilitation
Marin Humane Society,

39. Best Private Trainer
Susan Raymond,

Susan’s cooperative team approach to training your dog includes working with the pack mentality, combines discipline and structure with protection and direction. Her love for dogs and her many service offerings have placed her at the top of the enormous heap of Bay Area training resources with our voters this year.
Lilly Pritchard,
Lisa Caper,
Kim Rappaport, Zoom Room Campbell,

40. Best Dog Photographer
Mark Rogers,

Mark Rogers captures all the joy of his canine subjects in a distinctive style that’s a big hit with our readers. And the guy’s got a big heart, to boot. His over 700 My Mutt portraits for Pet Food Express stores have created lasting memories for the owners and raised thousands of dollars for local pet rescues, advocacy groups, and shelters.
Cyndi Kupier,
Kira Stackhouse,
Josh Norem,

41. Best Pet Artist
Beth Knight,

Beth Knight’s paintings of friendly, curious monster-dogs roaming familiar environments – like the Golden Gate Bridge, downtown SF, and other iconic Bay Area locales – have rightly become famous and are much loved by Bay Woof readers. Knight calls them her “Dogzilla” series. These dogs are not just at home in the world, they are rulers of the world. Look around her awesome website and you’ll see she loves gi-normous cats and bears, too. Commissions welcome!
Christine Pinter,
Kate Merriman,
Michael Wertz,

42. Best Pet-Friendly Lodging
Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay,

There’s no better place for you and your dog to feel truly pampered than this luxury resort on the ocean bluffs in Half Moon Bay. With its welcome gifts for people and pups (including a Ritz Carlton flying discs for canine play), the chef’s Pampered Pooch menu, and monthly Yappy Hours on the Gazebo Lawn – you know you and Fido are welcome here. For what’s called the “ultimutt” luxury, indulge in a 15-minute Pooch and Parent massage. When making reservations, be sure to mention your furry companion to make sure no doggie detail is overlooked.
Cypress Inn, Carmel,
Stanford Inn, Mendocino,
Kimpton Hotels, San Francisco,

43. Best Day Trip with a Dog
Carmel by the Sea,

Hankering for a great getaway with Rover? Follow the lead of our BOBA voters and head for Carmel by the Sea. Rated the #1 Dog Friendly City in America and a multi-year BOBA winner, Carmel offers dog-friendly hotels, restaurants, scenic paths, and shops. Your dog will feel truly welcome in this beautiful seaside town. Check the website to find a doggy massage therapist, canine surf lessons, and yappy hour events for some social romping. Rover says… what the woof are we waiting for!?
Fort Funston
Half Moon Bay
Dillon Beach

44. Best Dog-Friendly Campground
Anthony Chabot Regional Park,

This beautiful campground is a popular spot with our voters and their dogs – and for good reason. Its 70 miles of trails are sure to delight both you and your furry camp mate. There are 10 walk-in campsites (opening for the season on March 31), about 50 tent campsites, and 12 with full hookups for trailers and RVs. Reservations are required.
Samuel P. Taylor State Park
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Casini Ranch Family Campground,

45. Best Dog-Friendly Travel Website

The World Wide Web came along at the perfect time for Roxanne and Dave Kendrick. They had spent their lives exploring the world with their beloved dogs and then, boom, the Internet materialized to help them share their knowledge with dog-loving travelers and their travel-loving dogs. The site brings you lots of trip inspiration along with the practical info. Detailed listings can help you decide ahead of time which locations are just right for you and your pup.

46. Best Rescue Group
Furry Friends Rescue,

Founded in 1998, this all-volunteer animal rescue organization saves about 1,000 companion animals every month – an extraordinary feat of compassion. When dogs or cats in its care need special medical or psychological care (like dogs from neglect/abuse situations), FFR provides it. Its Purple Heart Miracles Club, supported by donations, pays the vet bills for animals needing extensive or long-term therapy. It’s all a wonderful labor of love, and our voters say, back atcha!
Rocket Dog Rescue,
Milo Foundation,

47. Best Humane Organization
San Francisco SPCA,

Here in the Bay Area, we are supremely fortunate to have so many great humane organizations watching out for local animals. This year, San Francisco SPCA gets top honors from our voters, thanks to its multitude of animal services and pioneering work on adoption, rescue, and advocacy SF SPCA’s list of accomplishments is long and impressive and our readers have spoken. Thank you, SF SPCA!
Marin Humane Society,
East Bay SPCA,
Alameda Animal Shelter,

48. Best Canine Cause
Muttville Senior Dog Rescue,

Oh, Muttville, how Bay Woof readers love you! A perennial winner, founder Sherri Franklin’s organization serves the compassionate cause of finding forever homes for senior dogs where they can live out their years enjoying comfort, companionship, and TLC. Volunteers always welcome!
Paw Fund,
Pets are Wonderful Support,
Canine Companions for Independence,

49. Best Fundraising Event
Pet Pride Day, SF ACC,

Pet Pride day is a hugely popular annual event that raises funds to support San Francisco Animal Care and Control, the city’s public shelter. It’s a true San Francisco happening, meaning… costumes! If you happen to come pet-less to this furry fair you can get hooked up with a new best friend through on-site adoptions from local rescue groups. Then there’s the fabulous parade, a photo booth, low-cost vaccine inoculations, working animal exhibitions, pet tricks, and more. This year the event will be 22 years old!
After the Ball,
Cover Your K-9,

50. Best Municipal Shelter
Contra Costa County Animal Services

As government-run agencies, municipal shelters are chronically under-funded yet have a lot of important work to do. Beyond meeting the everyday needs of the animals in their care, they are charged with addressing animal-related crime. Contra Costa County Animal Services takes this to heart in its stated mission: “to prevent cruelty, abuse, and neglect of animals” by enforcing all relevant laws. The agency teams up with rescue groups and other local resources to help get abandoned animal adopted quickly, a sure sign of its compassionate approach.
Berkeley Animal Care Services
SF Animal Care and Control
Alameda Animal Shelter

51. Best Dog Blog

Searching the web for some informative, entertaining, and well-organized information about dogs? Click on over to, a wealth of resources presented in a user-friendly, easy-reading site. You’ll find all the information you need on training and other essential topics. Until dog blogs are actually written by dogs, this human-created site is an awesome place to be.

52. Best Dog Social Networking Site

It’s no surprise that Bay Woof readers love networking for their pooches on this fun and interactive nationwide site featuring dozens of groups and forums – some breed specific, some focused on training or health, etc. You’ll also enjoy Dogster’s videos, online magazine, and loads of other great content that will give you a satisfying sense of community with dog lovers far and wide.

53. Best Online Dog Boutique
Pet Lifestyle and You (P.L.A.Y.),

P.L.A.Y specializes in dog beds made with natural materials and designed to provide ergonomic support. They have removable, washable covers in a variety of styles and colors. There are so many different types of beds on the site you’ll be tempted to get one for every room in the house and maybe a Chill Pad for the car, as well. The site also features a great line of durable, imaginative toys.

54. Best Online Vet Advice

This easy-to-navigate website is the favorite pet health resource for a majority of our voters. The depth and breadth of information available here is pretty amazing. With its A to Z explanations of dog ailments and symptoms, dietary and lifestyle advice, and answers to countless questions – from the absolutely essential (“When should I spay/neuter my dog?”) to the simply fascinating (“Why do cats have whiskers?”) – this site is a super place to learn more about keeping your animal friends happy and healthy.

55. Best Online Adoption Site

Adopters and rescuers are close to our hearts here at Bay Woof, and Pali Boucher’s Rocket Dog Rescue is a perennial fave of our readers, as well. These days our longing for canine love inevitably take us online, and Rocket Dog’s site is attractive, inspiring, and easy to navigate. To meet adoptable dogs in person, check out the group’s calendar of frequent mobile adoption events around the Bay.

56. Best Overall Website for Dog Lovers

There are countless useful and interesting websites for dog lovers out there, but this year our voters say this online adjunct of Bark Magazine does it best. Having a bad day? Click on over to the galleries; the photos there will make you smile no matter what’s on your mind. There is also a wealth of content on dog health, training, sports, living the good life, and even dog-lit. And you gotta love that motto, “Dog is my co-pilot.”
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