Though West Hollywood can be a dangerous place for bright pink canines (seriously, who made off with that 120-pound dog statue on Santa Monica Boulevard — and how?), the city is a safe haven for real-life pooches
“WeHo is a great place for dogs and dog-lovers because it has a special type of kinetic energy that is best suited for animal-lovers,” said Stefen Lee Liberti, whose Siberian Husky, Dolce, won WEHOville’s cutest dog contest in October. “Just by sitting along any of the cafes and restaurants along Santa Monica Boulevard, one can plainly see the strong sense of community and well-being most animal lovers share.”
With its walkability and year-round sunshine, WeHo indeed is an appealing place to enjoy an excursion with a canine companion. Walking dogs is good for exercise and people-watching. Plus, dogs are famously helpful conversation-starters for people on the prowl—just the thing to help two dog-lovers set out on the path toward puppy love.
In fact, our burg’s overwhelmingly single population might be one reason so many folks here have dogs; if you spend most nights alone, who better to snuggle up with than a friendly Fido?
“West Hollywood is one of the most dog-friendly places around,” said Ana Bustilloz, a West Hollywood resident who is the communications and marketing director for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles. We suppose we can trust her on the subject even though she’s guardian to a cat, not a dog. As an example of WeHo’s dog cred, Bustilloz pointed out that pets in WeHo are adopted or bought from individual breeders, not sold at pet stores (which too often are supplied by puppy mills). That’s just one notch on the collar for the city’s animal advocacy legislation, some of which has caused the metaphorical fur to fly and much of which was more symbolic than practical. Here’s an overview:
• 2001: The City Council voted to change municipal code references to pet “owners” to say “guardians” instead. Then-Mayor Jeffrey Prang told the Los Angeles Times that the change had a “symbolic purpose.”
• 2008: WeHo prohibited renting out cats and dogs. Not that anyone in WeHo was renting out cats and dogs. But still, it’s good to know that people can’t pimp their pets.
• 2010: The city banned the retail sale of cats and dogs (i.e. from pet stores, which are often supplied by puppy mills). Not that any pet store in WeHo was selling cats and dogs.
• 2013: WeHo banned commercial displays of exotic animals. Not that anyone was planning to bring the circus to WeHo. (Are you seeing a trend here?)
• 2013: The city’s ban on the retail sale of fur products took effect. This move did affect some WeHo businesses that have sold fur apparel in the past.
For all that animal-friendly legislation, West Hollywood dog-lovers do have a few complaints. For one thing, some folks are itching for more dog parks. Currently there is only William S. Hart park, 8341 de Longpre Ave. at Sunset. A small off-leash park, Hart has a wood chip and mulch surface. Some local dog owners are fans of the park; others complain that it is dirty and that it is dominated by big dogs.
And if high rents weren’t enough for WeHo apartment-hunters to deal with, they also face a challenge in finding a place to rent where dogs are allowed. Kari Whitman, founder of Ace of Hearts, a dog adoption organization, said it can be difficult to find landlords who welcome dogs, especially larger breeds (which landlords might not realize are less “high-strung” than smaller pups).
Despite those challenges, hundreds of dogs call West Hollywood home. According to records provided by the city of Los Angeles, there are 1,611 registered dogs in the 90046 and 90069 zip codes, which cover most of West Hollywood. So WEHOville has decided to compile this guide to pet resources in West Hollywood and surrounding to help dog guardians find pet-friendly dining, veterinary care and ways to pamper their pooches. If we’ve missed something, be sure to post your suggestions in the Comments section at the end of this story. Here’s you’ll find where to walk your dog (Page 2), where to find dog food and supplies (Page 3), dog grooming, walking and boarding services (Page 4), veterinary care (Page 5), dog-friendly dining (Page 6), dog-friendly apartments (Page 7), dog adoption services (Page 8) other resources (Page 9).