The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel Attracts Hundreds of Furry Companions

Photos and Text by Lillian Boyd

Dogs and humans alike gathered for “Yappy Hour” at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, in celebration of the holiday season. Furry friends donned holiday-spirit costumes for photos with Santa Claus and the Grinch.

The annual event attracted a total of 933 dogs and 1,120 people. Happy Howl-iday Yappy Hour supports The Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence, a nonprofit committed to connecting highly trained assistance dogs with disabled veterans.

“Yappy Hour began nine years ago to help raise funds and provide significant support to animal charities that make an impactful difference in the lives of those in need,” says Bruce Brainerd, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel.

The Veterans Initiative has helped serve more than 300 veterans and recently launched a pilot to help veterans with PTSD. To learn more, visit

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