With summertime nearing its close, west-coast canines wouldn’t dream of missing the singular event of the beach season – Helen Woodward Animal Center’s 12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon, held at Dog Beach in Del Mar, presented by Blue Buffalo. Surfing canines love this dog surf-competition in particular because it’s the only local one-of-its-kind with 100 percent of the proceeds going towards helping orphan pets. The phenomenal success of the once-humble dog surfing competition that had its start at Helen Woodward Animal Center has turned “dogs on surfboards” into a platform to raise life-saving funds and remind the world that “man’s best friend” can do phenomenal things. The 12th annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon is presented by Blue Buffalo and takes place at Dog Beach Del Mar on Sunday, Sept. 10 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Helen Woodward Animal Center’s canine surf contest is the longest-running one of its kind in the country and will feature up to 80 dogs surfing in four different weight class competitions. Keeping their eyes on the prize, “Top Surf Dog 2017” hopefuls have attended recent Center Surf Dog classes with tail-wagging enthusiasm in hopes of grabbing the coveted title on the big day.
Dogs, with help from their human parents, will participate in 10-minute heats based on weight class. Each dog is judged on their ability to ride the waves, stay on the board, and have lots of fun. First, second, and third place winners will be awarded for each weight class and the first place winners will move ahead to the finals – Best-In-Surf. Each surFUR heat will be judged by celebrities, surf pros, and aficionados.
Dog surf-activities will also feature a separate, freestyle surf contest where points will be awarded for creativity! Dogs can surf on the same board as their friends, or favorite human. Tandem rides, and costumes are all encouraged to catch the public and the judges' eyes.
Other dog-and-family friendly activities scheduled at the 12th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon include the Surf Dog Hall-of-Fame Induction Ceremony, and live beach tunes, as well as regular event favorites including the pup-ular Canine Costume Contest, 50 interactive vendor booths with great gifts, snacks and dog items available for purchase, opportunity drawings, and a free special Kids’ Activity area – with crafts, face painting, games and more.
The event has a lot to celebrate in its 12th year as supporters, sponsors and families of individual canine athletes have called “all paws on deck” in an incredible push for participation and fundraising, which to-date has already raised thousands. Pooches who are “paw-ing it forward” by raising funds have a very special goal in mind. In addition to the satisfaction of knowing they’ve helped orphan pets in need, the top-winning fundraiser will receive a special surf-photoshoot with their picture featured on the 2018 Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon billboard, seen by thousands throughout San Diego.
For more information on the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon, visit www.animalcenter.org or call 858-756-4117.