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Dogtown at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary: A place that’s really gone to the dogs

On any given day, nearly 400 dogs call Dogtown home. Dogs are safe and loved here, as they patiently wait to find forever homes.  

Dogtown includes multiple buildings where most dogs live in thoughtfully chosen pairs or groups. Old Dogtown is the area behind Dogtown headquarters. Dogtown Heights is the gated community across the street from headquarters. The Lodges will soon be across the street from headquarters as well. All Dogtown residents have access to indoor and outdoor space with room to run, as well as toys and a cozy bed.  Octagon winter snow with a man hugging a brown dog

Caring for dogs and puppies in need 

Dogtown is an oasis of healing, love and happiness that is designed to meet each dog’s particular needs. Some dogs are healing from abuse or neglect. Others are shy or undersocialized. Some have medical problems. All are in need of healing in some form.  

Along with top-of-the-line treatment, these dogs get all the medical care, TLC and training they need to recover from their pasts so that they can be adopted into loving homes.  

Both mental and physical stimulation are vital to a dog’s well-being, and the residents of Dogtown get their fill of both. Walks and daily enrichment are just the beginning. The large fenced-in dog park allows energetic dogs to romp off-leash, do “zoomies” and play fetch. In the summer, kiddie pools provide relief from the desert heat.  

For more structured fun, a covered training arena called Tara’s Run boasts agility equipment and different types of stairs and flooring to help dogs successfully transition into home environments once they’re adopted. Woman doing a high-five with a dog in Tara’s Run dog agility area

Volunteering or adopting 

At Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, we're always busy keeping the animals happy, so we're unable to offer animal interactions to walk-in guests. To ensure you get quality time with the dogs at Dogtown, please sign up for a volunteer shift

To adopt a dog from Dogtown, check out our list of adoptable dogs. After you fill out an adoption survey, one of our adoption specialists will be in touch.

National Geographic’s DogTown and the “Vicktory dogs”  

The puppies and dogs who live at Best Friends are experts at melting hearts. In a place like Dogtown, where they can really be themselves, a huge cast of characters emerges.  

Many people were first introduced to Dogtown through National Geographic’ Channel’s TV documentary series DogTown. The series, which ran from January 2008 to March 2010, raised public awareness about severely abused, neglected dogs and dogs with special medical needs. In its second season, DogTown profiled the rehabilitation of four dogs rescued from the property of former NFL player, Michael Vick. Best Friends took in 22 of the most badly abused dogs from Vick’s estate after he pled guilty in 2007 for his involvement in a dogfighting ring. Dubbed the “Vicktory dogs,” this special group changed the way people viewed victims rescued from dogfighting.  

 In the summer of 2015, the CW Television Network began re-airing the DogTown series – renamed Dog Town, USA – as part of its One Magnificent Morning block. 

Check out our popular Dogtown videos on YouTube for an inside look at this incredible place.