A ruff day at work: Some South Florida businesses will go to the dogs Friday

Employees at Koncept Events in Oakland Park spent Thursday filing papers, emptying trash cans and clearing the floor in preparation of some special visitors Friday — Chile, Sadie, Max, Rylee, Wes and Bailey. The furry visitors, who belong to employees, will arrive in the office for Pet Sitters International’s 16th annual Take Your Dog to Work Day, a nationwide event aimed at honoring four-legged companions and promoting adoptions.

Christina Sears, Koncept Events’ marketing director, said the pet-friendly company with about 20 employees usually limits four-legged visitors to one at a time, but on Friday all dogs will be welcome.

“The company is in support of a healthy work-life balance, and four-legged friends are part of that balance,” she said, adding that doggie activities are planned, including a group photo with the dogs sporting the company’s colors — red and aqua.

Koncept Events is not alone in allowing dogs into the workplace Friday. But don’t show up with your pet just anywhere. Some companies require permission or just prefer a fur-free workplace.

The online campaign, created by Pet Sitters International in 1999, has reached “tens of thousands” in celebrating man’s best friend and promoting canine adoptions, Beth Stultz, Pet Sitters International’s marketing and communications manager, said in an email.

There is no way to track how many companies are participating because they are not required to register, Stultz said. But the sense is that participation is growing, she said.

“America’s love affair with their pets is at an all-time high, and we expect the popularity of the day — and participation by companies across the globe — to continue to grow,” she said.

Sears, who said this is the first time her company is participating in the special day, loves the idea and wishes more companies would get on board.

“A lot of people don’t know Take Your Dog to Work Day exists,” she said.

But for those who do and are looking for an after-work party, CocoWalk is throwing a “Yappy Hour” to benefit the Humane Society of Greater Miami. The gathering, on Grand Avenue in Coconut Grove, is scheduled for 5 to 7:30 p.m. Humans can donate $20 in exchange for discounts at local restaurants and bars. Some stores are also offering treats and pet-friendly items to encourage people to bring their dogs.

Laurie Hoffman, executive director of the Humane Society of Greater Miami, said the event would be the perfect ending to a dog-day afternoon.

“People are more productive when they are surrounded by love from their furry friend,” she said.

Miami-Dade Animal Services will also be on hand with dogs for adoption. Fees for dogs over 4 months old will be discounted 50 percent, and fees will be waived for dogs over 35 pounds. Adopters will be responsible for a $27 license fee.

CocoWalk marketing director Cindee Tabares said the mall is a pet-friendly community and the event is a natural tie-in to the national day.

“Dogs brighten up your day,” she said.