Dog Cafes are popping up all over the world — from Japan to Canada, and even in the Philippines. Customers can play with dogs while drinking coffee and even having a snack. They’re part of a trend of eateries where individuals can adopt an animal.
Now a Jacksonville non-profit is creating it’s own version of a dog cafe with adoptable pooches.
Jacksonville’s first dog cafe is opening Saturday at Venetia Village shopping area, 5535 Roosevelt Blvd. Owner Carolyn Snowden was inspired by a Facebook video she saw last March of the grand opening of The Dog Cafe in Los Angeles.
“I was just hooked. I thought ‘God, what a great concept. Why just LA? Why not every city possible?’ ” Snowden said.
Instead of charging for drinks and food, the Jacksonville Dog Cafe will offer free coffee and tea provided by Martin Coffee Company. And this cafe will be filled with dogs up for adoption from three local rescues: Kamp Kritter, a no-kill shelter; The Old Dog House, an adoption agency for senior dogs, and Dachshund Adoption Rescue and Education, a dachshund rehabilitating and re-homing organization. The Jacksonville Dog Cafe will be open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Snowden started with four pop-up events in Jacksonville last year, resulting in more than 10 successful adoptions. But, she said, the cafe isn’t limited to people looking for an animal.
“People that can’t have dogs can come because they can have that interaction with no commitment of adoption,” Snowden said.
Visitors are encouraged to give belly rubs and ear scratches to help socialize rescue dogs and raise awareness of local dog rescues.
While you cannot bring your own dog to the cafe, you can arrange a meet and greet if you’re looking to adopt a new friend.
“We want to incorporate a way to have your dog plus the adoptable dogs to hang out. Maybe not in the same exact place, but in some fashion have a safe place for those that are coming with their dogs as well as those who are coming to see the adoptable dogs,” Snowden said.
Intern Serena Summerfield can be contacted at 904.358.6317, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Twitter @sumserfield