surf dogHelen Woodward Animal Center’s Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon marks its 11th year on a very important date – 9/11. Paying tribute to the wonderful first responders and their working dogs who keep us safe, this year’s surf spectacular will include patriotic ceremonies with special tributes for the heroes (both human and canine) who show their skills and bravery on dry land.  The 11th annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon is presented by Blue Buffalo and takes place at Dog Beach Del Mar on Sunday, September 11th, 2016 from 8am to 2pm PST.

Helen Woodward Animal Center will never forget September 11th and the heroes who were there to assist.  On this very important date, the Center’s annual event will include special moments of acknowledgement for the brave individuals who protect and serve our country and citizens. Honorary activities will include a Color Guard (California State University, San Marcos, Army reserve Officer’s Training Corps); a moment of silence; the National Anthem sung by Hospital Corpsman Third Class Grace Layugan (stationed on board the Naval aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt at North Island); a San Diego Police Department Search and Rescue K9 demo; and a First Responder tribute ceremony with plaques presented to men, women and canines from all working units.

Sharing the special day with fuzzy military heroes will be over 80 dogs who have prepped throughout the summer to surf at Helen Woodward Animal Center’s largest canine surf competition in the country.   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.

This year's activities will also feature a 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, tricks, and costumes are all encouraged to catch the public and the judges' eyes! Each surFUR heat will be judged by celebrities, surf pros and aficionados. surf dog

Other dog-and-family friendly activities scheduled throughout the day include live beach tunes, food trucks, the pup-ular Canine Costume Contest, fun Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon merchandise for sale, over 50 interactive vendor booths; and a special FREE Kid’s Activity area – with crafts, face painting, games and more!

Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon is held each year for one sole purpose – to raise funds for Center orphan pets and programs.  For more information on the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon, visit or call 858-756-4117.

If you can’t be there in person, you can watch the livestream at at 8:30am PT/11:30am ET.