Friday, December 26, 2014
Los Angeles Woman Campaigns for City's First Dog Cafe
Hot on the tail of Los Angeles' forthcoming cat cafe comes news that the city's first-ever dog cafe is also in the works.
After moving to the City of Angels from Seoul, South Korea, where dog cafes are already wildly popular, animal lover Sarah Wolfgang, 21, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to open a pooch-friendly parlour called The Dog Cafe where patrons can get a cup of Joe, followed by cuddle time with adoptable pups.
"When I moved to L.A., not long afterward I adopted a dog from a local shelter and the visit brought me to tears," Wolfgang told ABC News. "It was upsetting to see so many dogs stressed out after being confined to such small spaces over an extended period of time.
"It was also very upsetting to learn how many large, older, and special-needs dogs are overlooked by owners searching for purebred puppies," she added. "So I thought a dog cafe would be a good way to get the dogs out of that environment and get them the publicity that they need for adoption."
Wolfgang says she is in talks with Los Angeles Animal Services as well as a handful of private rescue groups about partnering when the cafe opens. She has not yet secured a space for the startup. But the optimal situation, Wolfgang said, would be to operate out of a location zoned for industrial use, which will allow The Dog Cafe to keep its guests overnight rather than shuttling back and forth to shelters on a daily basis.
She plans two separate areas, for purchasing cafe items--coffee by Grounds & Hounds will be the pour du jour--and for interacting with the dogs, in order to comply with city health code regulations.
But once all of that red tape is cleared, the rest of the business plan has been thoroughly plotted out, she said.
"We're thinking we will have eight to nine dogs at a time and allow 12 to 14 people inside during 30-minute appointments," said Wolfgang. "Before being brought into the cafe, a personality evaluation will be given to each dog to make sure they can mingle with other dogs and are capable of being around people."
And to avoid unwanted accidents, trainers will be assigned to three dogs throughout the day, she added, to make sure their needs are met.
Despite all of the extra work involved in operating a dog cafe versus a cat cafe, Wolfgang is undeterred.
"Dog cafes are very popular in Korea and I find no reason for it not to work out here," she said.