Become A Part Of The First Dog Cafe In The DMV
The hype about cat cafes has been around quite some time now. They began in Asia and quickly spread to the United States. There’s even a cat cafe here in Washington D.C., called Crumbs & Whiskers! Imagine entering a Starbucks filled with cuddly cats that you can play with. What makes it even more amazing is that all of the cats there are available for adoption. Cue the drumroll and here comes my idea: Twisted Tails Cafe- The DMV’s first dog cafe. A dog cafe is a similar concept, but an entirely different atmosphere.
This cafe will serve as a temporary, comfortable home for homeless dogs. It will allow both the humans and dogs to become acquainted in a relaxed setting. Twisted Tails Cafe will be able to find new homes for these dogs more quickly and with a higher success rate than if they lived at a shelter or humane society.
The name “Twisted Tails” is also a spin on words from intertwined cultures and ideas, ‘twisted tales‘. Both of my parents are from Chile so I’ve been to Santiago a few times and when I was younger I lived in Brazil for a few years. Both of these countries had one striking vision in common that has been etched in my head from a young age – stray dogs living on the street. I think that’s what instilled my passion to help homeless animals. Now in Virginia, you don’t see that but there are still hundreds of thousands of abandoned dogs that need our help right here in the United States.
My dream goal is to have an animal rescue foundation that doubles as a rehabilitation and foster home. A positive and loving organization that takes in all types of dogs and rehabilitates them in order to help get them get adopted, while serving as a forever home for the ones that don’t. Until then, however, I believe that by changing the way people see rescue dogs will increase adoption rates. The animal shelters will therefore have more room to take in more animals and the euthanasia rates will dramatically decrease.
An animal cafe is such a powerful tool for successful adoptions. This is primarily due to the bond that a person is able to make with a dog that they’re interested in adopting before taking them home. This type of bond would otherwise be nearly impossible because it’s hard for us to really get to know a dog’s personality at an animal shelter. Most of them had their whole world turned upside down and they’re probably confused and afraid. From a dog’s perspective, I’m sure it’s hard to feel comfortable behind a cage barrier. Therefore, a majority of these perfect dogs miss out on the opportunity of a loving home.
Now if a dog were to be put in a more “home-like” setting, where they have plenty of room to roam around and socialize with humans and other dogs, their story changes dramatically. The dogs are out and about all day, with lots of space to run around and play. Of course, there will be a designated space for them to go and lay down when they need some quiet time. And finally, when it is time for them to sleep for the night, their space resembles a happy home rather than a grim-looking cage. This gives the dogs a chance to feel comfortable enough to come out of their shell and let their personality shine through. By having happier and healthier dogs, the likelihood of them making a connection with a human and getting adopted will be phenomenally higher than at a shelter or humane society.
How is this possible or even legal, you ask? Per health code regulation, the cafe and doggy zone will be two completely separate entities. You will be able to order your latte and brigadeiro (a Brazilian chocolate truffle), and have one of two options. You can sit down at a table and look through the glass wall simply admiring the happy dogs, or fill out a waiver and enter the doggy zone.
Selection will be based on docile temperament, friendliness towards people and other dogs as well comfort towards strangers. Depending on the size of the location, there will be a limit on the amount of dogs that can be in the doggy zone. There will be 1 “rufferee” (a trained dog handler) per 3 dogs present. This helps to ensure that everyone is following the rules safely such as not feeding the dogs anything from the cafe, that customers are handling the dogs properly, etc.
Twisted Tails will be launching a crowdfunding campaign via Indiegogo in order to gain funds to help lift this project off the ground. As you can imagine, this will be a very costly project. Every dollar counts and goes a long way. The more people support and are willing to back this project, the sooner the doors will be able to open. The crowdfunding campaign will also have incentives for different tiers of donation such as:
- Logo themed mugs, shirts, bumper stickers, etc
- Free early access to serve as testers for the concept
- Name engraved on a wall, bench, or plaque
- Invitation to the launch party
- Free coffee or pastry
- …and many more!
Here are some other ideas to help continually bring money into the cafe in order to grow and become even better:
- A retail section of the cafe selling dog collars and other dog products as well as products directed to dog and animal lovers
- Fundraising events such as:
- Dog yoga
- Silent Auctions
- Paint Night
- Craft Night
- Trivia Game Night
- Themed Movie Night
- Happy (“Yappy”) Hour
I’m sure there will be unforeseen challenges that will come up along the way. We are fully dedicated to pushing through those challenges with a positive attitude and committing all our efforts to make this cafe work. Twisted Tails Cafe is a concept that will change the way homeless dogs find their forever homes. With your help, we will make this vision a reality.
I’m currently looking for suggestions on how to make the cafe as eco-friendly as possible. I love the idea of up-cycling common materials and transforming them into something amazing. Not only will that reduce costs, but it also helps the community and environment. Composting is an amazing eco-friendly tactic, and it will help create a beautiful garden outside the cafe entrance.
For example, take a look at what creativity can create from an industrial wooden spool:
Please stay tuned and follow this journey through social media.
The website will be www.twistedtailscafe.com and is coming soon!
(Crowdfunding platform) Indiegogo- Coming soon!
Any thoughts, comments, suggestions or ideas? I would love to hear what you think. Artistically inclined? I would love to see what you could create for a logo or sign! Business savvy? I would love to hear your advice!
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