Dog surfing competition raises funds for Helen Woodward Animal Center

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Cassidy Taylor

Dogs, Izzy, Layla, Skittle, Bitsy, watch as their fellow furry friends compete in the surf competition.

Cassidy Taylor, Reporter

On Sept. 12, 2021, the 16th Annual Dog Surf-A-Thon was held at Del Mar Dog Beach, attracting many viewers and featuring surfing dogs with the goal of raising money for Helen Woodward Animal Center.

James Wall described how the competition positively impacts the community of Carlsbad and all that it does for furry friends in need. The competition was a fun and entertaining way to raise money for the center.

“It’s great because it raises funds [and] raises awareness for animal rescue,” Wall said. “Helen Woodward does a lot of good things with not only dogs [but] cats and horses. They just have a lot of stuff and they help out [and] that’s a huge thing that is needed.”

Through the competition, the Helen Woodward Animal Center raised $14,000 which they will put toward all the animals at their facility. Not only has this competition helped the community, but it has also had a beneficial effect on some of the participants who competed in the event. Alecia Nelson mentioned what it has done for the city of Carlsbad as well as her life.

“It brings people out, it brings the community together, and it raises awareness so that way people know that you’ve got to think about the animals because they need some help,” Nelson said. “It has actually been a great inspiration for me because I was an athlete and I’ve done a lot of competitions myself, so I’ve transferred it to [my] dog. I love the fact that I can raise awareness for people.”

The competition brought out many dogs and their owners who are passionate about surfing. The San Diego community spent the day in the ocean with both their human friends and their furry friends. Homer Henard and his pup Skylar have been competing in the dog surfing competition for five years now.

“[Skylar] has been doing these competitions for a while and we just have a good time surfing together,” Henard said. “We just love surfing with the other surf dogs.”

Through the Dog Surf-A-Thon, people are able to meet new friends who share the same love as them for surfing and their dogs. Many people attend the event in order to have a good time and help out the Helen Woodward Animal Center.

“I’ve met some of my best friends through dog surfing,” Wall said.

Participants in the competition share a relationship with their dogs that only some may be able to understand. The Dog Surfing competition highlights the impact dogs have made in both their owners’ lives, as well as the community of Carlsbad.

“My little dog introduced me to a whole world that I probably would have never thought of being in,” Wall said.