Twelve luxury doghouses competed for Best in Show and were part of a silent auction at the fourth annual Design for Dogs event hosted by Facings of America in Scottsdale. 

During the silent auction, money was raised for the state’s largest no-kill shelter, the Arizona Animal Welfare League. 

The league’s marketing and communications director, Michael Morefield said, “we raised around $30,000 last year and we are hopefully on track to do that again.” 

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Photos by Karenna Guzman 

Sletten Construction and Arrington Watkins Architects, both based in Phoenix, teamed up and won this year’s Best in Show with their doghouse named Bark Place. 

“We started [building] it while trying to figure out sustainability in the desert. So, how could we make a doghouse that could survive Arizona summers,” said Sletten’s Monica Farrell, who helped build the doghouse. 

Bark Place comes with features such as a solar panel on top to power outlets inside the doghouse, used to operate a fan to cool the inside. 

Dog house
Sletten Construction and Arrington Watkins Architects teamed up for Bark Place, which won Best in Show at the Design For Dogs event. (Photo by Karenna Guzman)

Also, on top of the doghouse surrounding the solar panel were real, edible plants the owner could water and grow. 

There is a water filtration feature too, so the dog will always have water. One of the walls was made of tennis balls that could be taken out and replaced as the owner plays with his or her dog. 

“We started (designing) as soon as the competition opened up (in October),” Farrell said. 

Saturday was Sletten and Arrington Watkin’s first year in the competition. 

This year’s second-place winner and 2017 Best in Show, Rafterhouse, competed again with a barn themed doghouse. Rafterhouse builds homes in the greater Phoenix area but specifically in the Arcadia neighborhood. 

Rachel Koepke, lead project designer for Rafterhouse, said they first got involved when Facings of America approached them and told them about the Design for Dogs event and asked if they wanted to be a part of it. They thought that it would be a great opportunity for free marketing and to help a good cause, Koepke said. 

“Last year we built a doghouse that was actually a miniature replica of a home we actually built, so this year we said how do we still make it say Rafterhouse but make it different, well why don’t we do a barn,” Koepke said. 

The barn-themed doghouse included real sliding barn doors and an iPad holder inside so an owner could play music for the dog. 

The third-place winner was a doghouse by Creo Architects, who are based in Phoenix, that was themed after The Hobbit. 

It included a fake grass-hill roof with a door underneath, creating the effect of a hobbit hole for the dog. 

The event included beer and wine tastings as well as food and desserts. There was also a puppy kissing booth and Arizona Animal Welfare League volunteers walking around with dogs that were available for adoption. 

Other doghouses at the event included one by three companies that worked together: Designer Dream Kitchen Studio, 7 Dimensions, and Optima Production Group. 

This house was themed after a Game of Thrones castle and was named Game of Bonz. This house included two lounging areas for the dog and LED lights to light up the miniature castle. 

Another doghouse called Ritz Retreat by Scottsdale Community College featured an A-frame shape with wood flooring and was named in honor of Ritz, a dog that enjoyed visiting his owner’s cabin. The doghouse was modeled after the cabin. 

The top price that a doghouse sold for was $980. It could not be confirmed which doghouse this was. 

Over 400 tickets were sold for the event which was one of the highest numbers in the four years that the event has been held, he said. 

The proceeds from this event go to the general costs of running the no-kill shelter, Morefield said. 

“(The money) is really for everything. It goes to our general fund to offset costs of surgeries, we really do care for everything about the animals,” Morefield said.