Take Out a Friend for the Day!

Our Borrow-A-Buddy program enables you to take a dog on a fun local field trip. The dog gets some exercise, a break from the shelter, exposure to cars, people and potential adopters. You get a fun-loving buddy for the day and if you hit it off… possibly longer!

Visitors and locals alike are welcome to participate!

Save time: You can check out our available dogs and fill out the Borrow A Buddy application ahead of time.

When you pick up your buddy we will provide a collar and leash, doggie doo bags, treats, water and a travel dish, towels, an “Adopt Me” vest, plus food and destination recommendations!

Coming back from a Borrow A Buddy visit? We’d love to hear how it went (and get pictures)! Borrow A Buddy reports help us learn more about the dogs in our care and give us insights into behaviors that might not show up at the shelter.

Mendo Loves Pets!

Our animal-loving community loves dogs! Whether you want to visit a park, sit on a patio and drink a beer, or find a hotel that accommodates pets, our friends at Visit Mendocino have you covered.

Not sure where to go? We have a few recommendations for dog-friendly spots…and if you find a new one, definitely let us know!


Parks and Beaches

  • Mendocino Headlands State Park
  • MacKerricher State Park
  • Van Damme State Beach
  • Big River Beach and Trail
  • Noyo Headlands State Park and Coastal Trail
  • Jughandle State Park
  • Seaside Beach
  • Caspar Beach
  • Pomo Bluffs Park
  • Point Cabrillo Lighthouse Station
  • Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
  • Jackson State Demonstration Forest

Great Eats

  • Overtime Brewing
  • Mendocino Cafe
  • Trillium
  • Stanford Inn

Borrow A Buddy Policies

Dogs must be leashed at all times when being handled on or off-site, including in areas designated for off-leash use.

Not all shelter dogs are eligible for Borrow A Buddy: Staff can tell you who’s available and make recommendations based on your experience, plans for the day, and other needs!

Please call us immediately in the event of a bite or fight, if a medical issue comes up, a dog slips off-leash, or another situation arises!