The Benicia Dog Festival Returns for Year 3!

The plight of the large animal rescue and adoption organizations continues to be at the forefront of my mind this year as our region has overcome record-setting rains, and we are moving deeper into fire season. Solano CART (Certified Animal Rescue Team, and Hold Your Horses Animal Evacuation Team ( are two of the largest non-profit organizations in our area that are deployed to rescue and care for animals in emergencies. What many do not know is that there is currently little or no funding for these organizations because, if you can believe it, animals are considered personal property, and are not considered in city, state and federal emergency funding. 

The Benicia Dog Festival was created not only as a one-day festival that celebrates dogs, but also raises money for an emergency fund that helps assist these organizations for the times when our animals need them the most. The Benicia Community Foundation, a 501c3 organization, is the fiscal sponsor of this event, and releases monies needed within 24 hours of when the animal organizations ask for help. This year we gave $5,000 to the Hold Your Horses Animal Evacuation Team to rescue draft horses that were literally stuck in the mud from the heavy rains at their rescue farm. Part of those monies were also used to replace the well pump that supplies water to the animals on the farm — a sanctuary for animals who were displaced from their homes by previous natural emergencies.

Year Three of the Benicia Dog Festival is going to be so much fun!

We are adding a play area and a pet parade, in addition to all the fun from the prior years, including the K9 Police Dog Demonstrations, Dog & Me Agility Contest, Dog & Me Red Carpet Costume Contest, and Pet-Themed Vendor Booths. You can adopt a four-legged friend, and get your pet microchipped and vaccinated at a low cost. 

This year we will also continue our Dog & Me Happy Hours the week leading up to the event — celebrating some of our businesses in Benicia that are pet-friendly: Lucca Bar & Grill, The Chill, Mare Island Brewing Company, Rookies, and Cullen’s Pub. The happy hours will be held from 5-7PM. Please bring your well-behaved, leashed pup and enjoy what our amazing First Street restaurants have to offer.

We are looking forward to seeing you and your pet there. 

Thank you for considering donating; for more information please go online to

In community service and for the love of our animals,

Gaul Culley, Founder, The Benicia Dog Festival