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Dogs, Cats and Alpacas ruling summertime fun in Cali

Summertime is almost here! Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC) is ready! They have planned a terrific assortment of great, warm-weather activities for animal lovers of all ages. Everyone is panting to get started!

Surf dog and top fundraiser, Ricochet
Helen Woodward Animal Center

The sun is out, people are ready, and the best thing is that the animals will benefit from everyone participating in these summertime programs. The activities vary from surfing and stand-up paddle boarding with your pooch to petting a giant Flemish rabbit or an alpaca, to curling up in the sun with a great animal-themed novel and your cat. The dog days of summer are about to begin.

Take a look at what is coming:

Canine Surf and Stand-Up Paddle Boarding Classes

Helen Woodward Animal Center will once again splash into summer with its annual Surf Dog lessons at Dog Beach in Del Mar. The beloved “hang twenty” classes feature expert instruction from legendary leaders of the pack – the So Cal Surf Dogs – teaching basic and advanced techniques to passionate dog “surFURS.” The classes are offered in two levels, “Intro to the Ocean” for beginners and “GromMutt Dog Surfing” for the pros. New this year, water-loving dogs and their owners can try stand-up paddle boarding classes too! These classes are great for the less adventurous pups that prefer calm waters to white water surf.

Lessons can be taken for fun or in preparation for Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Annual “Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon.” The September 7th canine surf competition is the largest of its kind and has earned a reputation for attracting four-legged, ocean-obsessed athletes from up and down the coast. This year’s event will feature a Stand-Up Paddle Paws Parade, as well. Each class is 50 minutes long and includes all required equipment, from canine life-vests to surf boards to paddle-boards. Class cost is $45 with a $10 discount offered off any additional lessons. Classes begin Saturday, June 28th and continue on select Saturdays and Sundays through August with class times scheduled for 8:30 a.m. (stand-up paddle board only), 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Spots are limited as to allow for individual attention and are already filling up fast! For more information, questions or to register, go to or call (858) 756-4117 x 350. ((Video footage of Surf Dog Lessons:

Paws to Read

Helen Woodward Animal Center is delighted to partner with local libraries as they initiate the summer reading theme “Paws to Read” – celebrating the joys of reading while providing opportunities to learn about the animal world and its interconnection with the human world. Helen Woodward Animal Center will join the fun at the Rancho Santa Fe Library Carnival Kick-Off Party on Thursday June 5, 2014 between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., with adoptable orphan animals and will return on June 26th and July 17th with fun dog and cat craft toy-making for library visitors. Center orphan pets will also attend the Rancho Penasquitos Library Kick-Off Party on Saturday June 14th between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and the Solana Beach Library Kick-off Party on Saturday June 21st beginning at 2:00 p.m. (Donations of pet food, newspapers and toys will be gratefully accepted at each of these events.)

In addition to being on-site with adoptables and information, the Center has created its own reading list of recommended books and stories about the beautiful world of animals. This reading list can be picked up in the Center’s adoption building or at the Rancho Santa Fe and Otay Mesa libraries. The list includes two new books by San Diego surf dogs and Center supporters Ricochet and Dozer. Ricochet, who not only rides a mean wave but continually ranks highest in event fundraising, is introduced to teens and pre-teens in Riding the Wave of Hope with a Dog Who Inspires Millions ( pre-teen/teen reading level - and Dozer, last year’s first place overall surf dog, is introduced to younger readers in Dozer Surfs (children’s reading level –

Summer Critter Camp

Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Summer Critter Camp is San Diego’s best animal camp for kids Preschool through 8th grade! Children experience a full week of hands-on animal interactions (from dogs to a giant Flemish rabbit to alpacas and exotic birds) and summer camp activities including animal themed games, crafts, songs, and more. Camps can be taken for a week or for a single day and are offered in a variety of age levels with a variety of themes to choose from, including “Animals Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” – which focuses on the way mankind has perceived a variety of animals from the past to now and how we might look at them in the future – and “Animal Mysteries and Discoveries” – which demonstrates all of the amazing things animals teach us about the world in which we live. Camp begins June 16th and runs through August 22nd, 2014. For more information or to register, go to or call (858) 756-4117 x 361. (Video footage of Critter Camp:

Animal Lovers Club

Helen Woodward Animal Center staffers have noticed a heartwarming increase in the number “Young Pups” dedicating their time, their creativity and even their allowances to orphan animals. For those junior animal lovers who can’t get enough of giving back to our fuzzy friends, Helen Woodward Animal Center has a perfect club program. The Animal Lovers Club not only provides great suggestions for fun summertime activities to help orphan pets (like lemonade stands, cat toy craft making and pet food and newspaper recycling drives) but it rewards its members for participating! Center Animal Lovers can receive a club t-shirt and other prizes to show the world that they love animals in a big way. Best of all, the program is a great way for kids to learn about giving back and helping those in need, with the opportunity to come to the Center and see firsthand how they make a difference. For more information, contact Outreach Coordinator Laura Goodman at (858) 756-4117 x339 or

Summer is coming and Helen Woodward Animal Center is ready for it! They know that the lazy days of summer is the best time to unite the love of animals with some sun-soaked activities. That is why they have devised their animal-themed, leisure-time ideas in addition to giving back. Each of these activities will help to support the pets and programs of HWAC.

If you would like to receive more information or speak to a representative, do not hesitate to log onto or phone HWAC at 858-756-4117 or stop by Helen Woodward Animal Center anytime. They are located at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.

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