The U.S. Might Be Getting Its First Dog Cafe

Sarah Wolfgang has been to the promise land of dog and cat cafes and now she’s trying to bring it to the US. After moving to Los Angeles from Seoul, Wolfgang has launched a campaign to open up a dog café in LA.

Dog and cat cafes, places where you pay for a drink and visiting time with the cafe’s resident animals, are huge in South Korea. I spent a year in South Korea and visited a few cafes while I was there and they’re one of the many things I miss about the country. So I completely understand Wolfgang’s desire to open up one in LA.

In addition to opening a cafe with two connected buildings — one for the drinks to be served, another go visit the dogs, because safety codes do exist — Wolfgang would like for the cafe to serve as a transitional home for the dogs on the way to their forever homes. The cafe will also place an emphasis on the older and special needs dogs that typically get overlooked at shelters. The goal is to provide the dogs with rehabilitation and training in an environment that encourages sociability.

“All of our shelter dogs will be completely up for adoption, allowing potential adopters to see the pups in a different light.” Wolfgang says in The Dog Cafe campaign video. “Even if you aren’t interested in adopting The Dog Café is still for you. We’ll be like that one friend’s you always go to just to play with their dogs.”

Places like dog and cat cafes are wonderful for people who aren't able to commit to owning a pet. You get to enjoy the benefits of animal therapy and contribute to a good cause without having to deal with picking up poop. And even though I'm a cat person, I've enjoyed dog cafes more than cat cafes. While cats can be a bit standoffish, dogs are generally more giving with their affection.

And don't worry, The Dog Cafe will leave the coffee to a separate vendor by partnering with Ground and Hounds Coffee Co. Wolfgang is aiming to raise $200,000, which will go into building construction, furnishing, and staffing. If Wolfgang's cafe succeeds, it'll be the first dog cafe in LA, and hopefully, the first of many dog cafes in the US.