Richmond Ranks #5 for Best Cities for Dog Lovers: Here’s Why You Should Consider Adopting a Forever Friend


Richmond, Virginia, often lauded for its historical sites, vibrant arts scene, and southern charm, has another feather in its cap. The city recently secured the 5th spot in 2023’s Best Cities for Dog Lovers list, according to a marketing company specializing in lawn services. Though the source may seem unusual for a ranking like this, it opens up an opportunity for us to discuss something heartwarming: adopting a furry friend.

Why Richmond?

You may be wondering what makes Richmond such an excellent place for dog lovers. The ranking was based on a comparison of the 200 largest U.S. cities across 28 key indicators. These indicators spanned five categories—Housing, Community, Care, Businesses, and Affordability—and included metrics like access to dog-friendly housing, pet-friendly businesses, walkability for dogs, and the cost of canine services.

Where to Adopt in Richmond

If you’ve got space in your place, Richmond offers several avenues for you to meet and adopt a new canine companion:

  1. Richmond Animal League (RAL): Known for its advocacy in rescuing pets from desperate situations, RAL offers a wide variety of dogs for adoption, from pups to senior dogs.
  2. Richmond Animal Care and Control (RACC): As the city’s only open-admission public shelter, RACC provides temporary homes for thousands of animals each year, many of which are dogs seeking forever homes.
  3. Richmond SPCA: This organization is a haven for homeless dogs and cats. Their programs aim to educate prospective owners and make the adoption process as smooth as possible.
  4. Ring Dog Rescue: RDR takes a meticulous approach to pit bull adoption, requiring 1-3 weeks to carefully match each dog with the right home, emphasizing lifelong commitment and full household participation for the welfare of the animal.

Living Your Best Life with Your BFF (Best Furry Friend)

So, where can you and your four-legged companion enjoy Richmond to the fullest? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Belle Isle: This scenic area offers a spacious environment for your dog to run around and explore. You can also find trails suitable for a leisurely walk or an energetic run.
  2. Byrd Park: With its dedicated dog park, Byrd Park is a haven for dog owners. Your pet can socialize with other dogs while you chat with fellow pet owners.
  3. Local Businesses: Richmond is home to various dog-friendly businesses. From cafes where your pup can enjoy a “puppuccino” to shops offering gourmet dog treats, the city embraces its canine residents.
  4. Veterinary Clinics: Excellent healthcare is vital for any pet, and Richmond doesn’t disappoint. The city has an extensive network of veterinary clinics that offer services ranging from routine check-ups to specialized treatments.
Richmond dog lovers 2023 by Kimberly Frost
Photo by Kimberly Frost

Final Thoughts

As the ranking highlights, Richmond is indeed a fantastic city for dog lovers. If you haven’t yet considered adopting a dog, there’s no time like the present to visit Richmond’s animal shelters and give a loving dog a forever home. With plenty of amenities and community support, both you and your furry friend will find Richmond a wonderful place to call home.

Main image by Christopher Ayme

RVA Staff

RVA Staff

Since 2005, the dedicated team at RVA Magazine, known as RVA Staff, has been delivering the cultural news that matters in Richmond, VA. This talented group of professionals is committed to keeping you informed about the events and happenings in the city.

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