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Plus, meet Max, the Zoo’s first canine animal ambassador on Sunday, August 26

Guests are invited to a paw-some event as Bob Moore Subaru presents the inaugural National Dog Day at the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden, Sunday, August 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.National Dog Day celebrates all breeds of dogs and recognizes the number of dogs in need of permanent homes. Representatives from The Bella Foundation, a local non-profit created to assist low-income, elderly or terminally ill pet owners with the cost of veterinary care, will be in attendance from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. hosting an adoption event in the Zoo’s entry plaza. Dog bandanas courtesy of Bob Moore Subaru will be distributed to the first 1,000 guests visiting the Zoo Sunday.

Guests can also meet Max, the Zoo’s first ever canine animal ambassador, during a special training session presentation at the elephant pavilion at 1 p.m. Max, a two-year-old terrier mix, was adopted from OKC Animal Welfare earlier this year and has been working closely with staff to help demonstrate how the Zoo works with and cares for animals. From chats to demonstrations, Zoo guests can view and interact with Max to better understand some ways the Zoo provides training, animal enrichment and welfare.

“Max was a diamond in the rough. The OKC animal welfare shelter reported he had been adopted and returned twice. Max is incredibly smart with an endless supply of energy, so he had a habit of getting into trouble,” said Kim Leser, curator of animal behavior and welfare. “He is settling in nicely at the Zoo where he gets plenty of exercise, a healthy diet, great vet care and, of course, lots of love and attention. We are thrilled to add Max to the family and encourage guests to remember local shelters and rescues the next time they are looking to add to their family.”

In addition to demonstrating animal enrichment and training methods, Max will serve another critical function: familiarizing Zoo animals to the presence of service animals. Max will help to teach the Zoo’s collection that the sight or smell of a dog near their habitat is normal.

Also on National Dog Day, kids can participate in the Zoo’s free Eye Spy Safari for a chance to win a prize, courtesy of Bob Moore Subaru. Scratch-off cards are available at the Zoo’s Guest Services and ZOOfriends’ offices. Plus, Sunday at 1:30 p.m., guests can attend a special Keeper Connection at the Zoo’s African Painted Dog habitat to learn more about the endangered dogs from the animal experts entrusted to care for them.

The Oklahoma City Zoo welcomes registered service animals, but pets are not allowed in the park. On Sunday, August 26, Subaru owners can leave their pups in the Zoo’s pet hotel for free in honor of National Dog Day. Located in the Zoo’s entry plaza, the pet hotel is available daily during regular Zoo hours and is the ideal solution for guests traveling with pets since they are not permitted on grounds. Non-Subaru owners can utilize the pet hotel for $1. No animals, including service dogs, will be allowed inside any interactive animal exhibit at the Zoo including, but not limited, to the Centennial Choo Choo, Dan Moran Aviary, Oklahoma Trails Aviary and the Lorikeet exhibit. This is intended for the health and well-being of the Zoo’s animal family, Zoo guests and the service dog.


OKC Zoo’s PAWS-itive IMPACT:

  • Since 2017, OKC Zoo’s Round Up for Conservation has provided $35,000 support for African Painted Dog Conservation in Zimbabwe.
  • Provides staff to assist in the field at Painted Dog Research Trust in Zimbabwe.
  • African Painted Dog Keeper Connections – daily at 1:30 p.m.
  • Pet hotel in entry plaza available daily for $1 (free for Subaru owners on Sunday for National Dog Day).
  • New service animal waste stations available throughout the Zoo.

This Sunday, celebrate man’s best friend at the OKC Zoo! Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $11 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free.