Best Pet-Friendly Hotel:
LOEWS MIAMI BEACH HOTEL This massive, luxury hotel — a favorite of visiting celebrities — treats animals like VIPs. Pets are welcomed to the hotel with a personal note from the general manager; guest rooms include pet placemats with food and water bowls, toys, treats and a Do Not Disturb sign that lets housekeeping know there’s an animal in the room. There are pet-sitting and dog-walking services; a puppy pager is provided to dog owners in case of emergency. There’s also a special, veterinarian-approved menu for pets that includes roasted salmon for cats and bow wow burgers for dogs. Rates from the mid $200s (rates vary by season).
Loews Miami Beach Hotel, 1601 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL.www.loewshotel.com
Best Feral Cat Program
THE CAT NETWORK This not-for-profit organization is dedicated to restricting cat overpopulation through the sterilization, spaying, and neutering of feral and abandoned cats. Run by president Cindy Hewitt, The Cat Network helped to defeat a proposed ordinance that would have required the licensing of cats – which likely would have had disastrous consequences such as prompting the annihilation of countless strays.
The Cat Network.
Best Chic Doggy (And Kitty) Department Store:
THE DOG BAR Talk about dandy dogs: From canine beauty products and groovy toys, to fashionable clothing and the finest in all-natural pet foods and biscuits, this 2000-square-foot pet palace is a delight for canines and felines alike. “We’re trying to create a lifestyle not only for the animals, but for the owners as well,” says owner Steven Cohen. Mission accomplished, we’d say.
1) Bathrobe: Your dog deserves a fluffy robe to lounge in after a day at the beach or just hanging around the pool. This soft Fieldcrest cotton robe will keep any dog (or sofa) dry and comfy. Also available sans flowers for the boys. $50.
2) Shades: These cute pups are wearing sunglasses designed specifically for ‘lil ones. These candy-colored shades offer lenses with UV protection; stays put with an adjustable Velcro strap.
3) Swarovski Crystal Collar Set: For dogs who lead the glamorous life, brilliant shimmering crystal stones made famous by Swarovski adorn these glittering, hi-polished, burnished leather collar and leash sets. Choose from crystal bone or crystal stone designs. $159.
The Dogbar, 723 North Lincoln Lane, Miami Beach, FL. www.dogbar.com
Best Pet Spa
SALON POOCHINI Dogs and cats are treated like royalty at this spa, where classical music plays and the animals hang out while waiting to get their hair and nails done, and teeth carefully cleansed with a peppermint solution. While waiting, owners are offered espressos and cold beverages. There’s also a fabulous gift shop that sells doggie sundresses, pet carrier cases, food bowls, and more.
Salon Poochini, 1019 Kane Concourse, Bay Harbor Islands, FL.
Best Animal Shelter:
HUMANE SOCIETY OF GREATER MIAMI This no-kill shelter has placed thousands of dogs and cats into good homes. There are plans to soon open a 10,000-sq. ft. addition called Waggerville, which will provide larger, themed rooms for animals and also act as an educational facility.
HSGM, 2101 N.W. 95th St., North Miami, FL.
Two other great Miami-Dade shelters; organizations dedicated to helping and saving animals: 1) Pet Rescue Miami: Provides shelter, safety and care. Pet Rescue Miami, 3440 N.W. 191st St., Miami, FL. www.petrescuemiami.com 2) Adopt-A-Pet: Volunteers work to find homes for homeless and aging pets. A no-kill facility. Adopt a Pet, 11900 S.W. 232 St., Homestead, FL.