Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon Returns September 12

The longest running dog surfing competition returns to Del Mar Dog Beach to cap off the summer and raise vital funds for orphaned animals at the Helen Woodward Animal Center.

While competitors were not in attendance in 2020 at Del Mar Dog Beach, the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon continued virtually and welcomed competitors from around the world for the first time in its 16-year history. Now surfers are eager to take the plunge and claim top dog honors at the event. Over 70 surf dogs are expected Sunday, September 12 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Del Mar Dog Beach for the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon presented by Blue Buffalo.

With COVID-19 CDC regulations in mind, adjustments have been made to this year’s event to keep contestants safe. There will be fewer surfers allowed to compete in each round, and each surf dog is limited to a total of two humans in the water with them – their owner and a “catcher”. Reducing the number of human team members in the surf with each dog will provide more space and fewer crowds for all participating competitors.

Spectators are advised to watch the action safely from the beach and are encouraged to apply appropriate safety measures.

Following the surf competition, The BARKet Place sponsored by Petco will feature a variety of exhibitor booths with pet products and local businesses giving out giveaways.

San Diego Pet Training will also be hosting a free dog agility course. Prior to the awards ceremony, the center will induct a new winner into the Surf Dog Hall of Fame at a special ceremony. Plus, the costume contest invites creative dogs to strut the catwalk, entries are open now.

Registration is still available for surf-loving dogs to compete in surf and freestyle contests. 100% of event proceeds support rescue work at the Helen Woodward Animal Center. The top fundraising pooches will not only be able to help orphaned pets, but they’ll also win great prizes, including a commemorative Surf-Dog Surf-A-Thon 2021 surfboard for first place.

The 16th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon is free. Parking will be available at the corner of Border Avenue / Via De La Valle and Hwy. 101 / Camino Del Mar for a $20 donation.

For more information and to pre-order your official Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon t-shirt, go to animalcenter.org/surfdog2021 or call (858) 756-4117 ext. 358.

Benjamin M. Yerger