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Arts and Entertainment

Woman Seeks To Open A Coffeehouse Where You Can Play With Adoptable Dogs

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We have written several times about the ongoing process to open Los Angeles' first cat cafe and even went to the CatFe pop-up in Chinatown this summer. Now, a woman is attempting to open up Los Angeles' first dog cafe. Cat Cafes are particularly popular in Japan and South Korea, and have been popping up in other countries too, including one in Oakland. They're basically coffee houses where customers are also able to socialize with cats. Other concepts have rabbits, owls and penguins. Until now, there really hasn't been much talk of a similar concept offering cuddles with dogs in the U.S., though there are a few dog cafes in South Korea.

Sarah Wolfgang is currently attempting to raise funds for The Dog Cafe via indiegogo. Since she launched her campaign on December 16, she's raised a little over $300 over her $200,000 goal. The campaign closes February 5. Her indiegogo says she's also working on hosting a 'pup-up' event.

Her plans include serving coffee from Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. and offering a number of dogs from shelters who customers can pet, cuddle and play with.

"With the overcrowding of Los Angeles animal shelters, many dogs are overlooked simply because they 'seem to shy' or are 'too bark-y,'" Wolfgang writes. "But the reality behind these dogs is that most of them are highly adoptable, yet so many do not get a second chance because we don't get to appreciate their real personalities. The Dog Cafe is going to put a spin on the way people adopt by totally reinventing the way we connect with homeless dogs. We want to provide you with the opportunity to see these highly adoptable pooches in their true light.  And even if you're not looking to adopt, you can still enjoy all of the sloppy kisses you've ever wanted."

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Wolfgang spoke to the L.A. Health Department and was told that the Dog Cafe would be legal if it was completely separated. That is, the cafe would be in one area and would not connect to where the dogs are located. Customers would be allowed to buy a beverage and take it with them to the dog zone.

Wolfgang said she came up with the idea for the Dog Cafe while volunteering at a shelter in Korea when she was 14. She and other volunteers worked to rescue 120 dogs that would be put down if homes could not be found for them.

In 2010, she started a program in Korea to find homes for animals with special needs. When Wolfgang moved to the U.S. in early 2014, she said she realized there were more shelter dogs than there were adoptions, and thought a Dog Cafe would be a great opportunity to find the dogs homes.

American Cat Cafes typically have similar motivations and allow customers to adopt kitties that steal their hearts.