Dogs go with the flow

More than 4,000 dog lovers and thousands of their “best friends” came to Del Mar on Sept. 13 for the 4th annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon, a benefit for the Helen Woodward Animal Center.

Nearly $50,000 was raised for the center’s programs and for animals and people in need.

“Best in Surf” went to a Jack Russell Terrier named Buddy and his person, Bruce Hooker from Ventura. Second place honors went to Ricochet, a golden retriever. Following at a close third place was Dozer, an English bulldog and member of the newly formed San Diego Dog Surfing Association.

Human surfers wearing theme costumes participated in the, “Doo the Dah for Dogs” surfing contest. First place finisher was Pat Weber the “Hula Man” followed by the red team Bruce and Buddy Hooker and Chicks on Sticks.

Top individual fundraiser was Karl Eberhardt and the top fundraising team was K9 Kahunas.

“It was just a little more than three years ago that we came up with the idea for Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon,” HWAC spokesman John Van Zante said. “Now our event attracts including news coverage in China, the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Korea.”

Van Zante says Helen Woodward Animal Center will be working with animal welfare organizations in Hawaii, California, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia in the coming year to help them launch their own surf dog events. The 2010 winners will be invited to San Diego to participate in the world’s first, “Surf Dog Triple Crown.”

For more information about Helen Woodward Animal Center or the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon visit the Center at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe, call 756-4117, or visit

SOURCE: Helen Woodward Animal Center release