AAWL adds some bark to lunch breaks in Phoenix


Once a month, the Arizona Animal Welfare League transforms the heart of Downtown Phoenix into a giant play-pen for puppy-lovers of all ages.

Bark Break, now a monthly event for the shelter, takes place in Civic Space Park during select Wind Up Wednesdays, a community event hosted by the City of Phoenix partnership. AAWL encourages the community to spend some time playing with the dogs who need exposure to different types of human interaction.

The shelter gathers leashes, chew toys, treats and other essentials for the pups in preparation for the community play-date, along with coordinating a handful of volunteers to help the event run smoothly day-of.

Volunteers on the shelter’s adoption team work to select dogs best suited for the hectic environment during Bark Break, picking friendly pups who don’t mind getting up-close with the community.

The tired pups head home after an afternoon of fetch, puppy selfies and cuddles from the community, hoping to make a special bond with a new, forever home.

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