The Coast News Group
The owners of The Compass in Carlsbad unveiled a new menu for dogs on Aug. 26. Photo by Steve Puterski

Furry friends have new menu at The Compass

CARLSBAD — A new menu at The Compass is receiving howling reviews.

Andy Davis and Jess Van Driessche unveiled their new offerings for dogs during an Aug. 26 event where proceeds from the sale special benefited Last Chance at Life, an Oceanside-based rescue shelter for dogs.

Since dogs were already a presence at The Compass, located in the Village Shops, Davis and Van Driessche were presented the idea for a menu by one of their employees about two months ago. So, they cobbled together a menu and dubbed it “Yappy Hour.”

“We love animals and they’re always welcome,” Davis said. “It was something we talked about for years and never did.”

The menu features scrambled eggs, chicken, beef patties, grilled salmon, blue buffalo kibble and peanut butter with bacon bits.

Since Davis and Van Driessche bought Compass seven years ago, the business partners noticed an increase in patrons brining their four-legged companions. It’s a growing trend throughout the country as more establishments are opening their doors to man’s best friend.

But the popular spot in the Village is used to dogs and other animals, as they noted patrons have brought in goats, pigs and cats.

Still, being animal-friendly is important to the owners, and linking up with a rescue shelter was also a priority. With the rollout of the new menu, Davis and Van Driessche knew the best day was Aug. 26, which is also International Dog Day.

In addition, local musician and blues and soul recording artist Shane Hall performed.

“We’re one of the few restaurants around here that has a dog-friendly patio,” Van Driessche said. “We’re excited about it.”

The food is locally sourced to the best extent possible, just as is for their regular menu, Davis added. And their chef researched healthy food sources for dogs then created the menu.

Leyla Franco, a foster coordinator for Last Chance at Life, said the nonprofit is an all-breed shelter with a focus on dogs with medical issues and facing euthanasia.

The rescues come to the nonprofit from other local shelters and humane societies, owners who can no longer properly care for them and sometimes through other rescue groups, Franco said.

The majority of the adoptable pets are in foster homes while others (new arrivals, those awaiting medical recovery, those awaiting in foster or forever homes) are cared for at their Oceanside facility.

“We became an all-breed so we can still have the funding to help any dog with needs,” Franco added.

On Aug. 26, the shelter had about 10 dogs on display at The Compass. Many were leashed and making the rounds with customers and passersby, with several people filling out the adoption application.

“A lot of people are interested … and we found a couple people interested in foster,” Franco said. “We’re always looking to expand the foster network. I think just being able to get the word out about what we do is a good thing.”