Los Angeles woman campaigns for city’s first dog cafe

Coffee for L.A.' s proposed first-ever Dog Cafe would be provided by aptly name beans purveyor Grounds & Hounds. (Photo: The Dog Cafe)
Coffee for L.A.' s proposed first-ever Dog Cafe would be provided by aptly name beans purveyor Grounds & Hounds. (Photo: The Dog Cafe)

Hot on the tail of L.A.’s forthcoming cat cafe, the first ever dog cafe is in the works in Los Angeles.

21-year-old Sarah Wolfgang has started a crowdfunding campaign to open a pooch-friendly parlour called The Dog Cafe, where patrons can enjoy a cup of joe and spend some time cuddling with adoptable dogs.

Wolfgang moved to L.A. from Seoul, South Korea, where dog cafes are already wildly popular,

“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’s in talks with L.A. Animal Services as well as a handful of private rescue groups about partnering up when the cafe opens.

Wolfgang hasn’t secured a space for the startup yet. She says that in the optimal situation, she would be able to operate out of a location zoned for industrial use, which would allow the pups to stay 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.”

Trainers will be assigned to three dogs each throughout the day to make sure needs are met and to avoid any unwanted accidents.

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.

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