The 2016 Florida International Dog Surfing Championship is set to take place March 25-27 on Fernandina Beach. But It’s looking like the event will be short a surfing superstar.
Booker D. Surfdog, the bodacious bad girl of the surf world, is putting on her retirement jacket, a PawsAboard life vest, and voluntarily sitting out of the huge upcoming Easter weekend dog event to protest a lack of space in kill shelters.
“I think the reason that Booker has been marching around her water bowl with a look that might as well be a protest placard, is in protest of all the animals being killed ‘for space’ in Florida,” says Booker’s rescue human, Pops. “The worst thing we have ever heard is the catchphrase ‘Kill for Space.’ There are a ton of euphemisms out there these days, trying to sugarcoat what is really going on – that thousands of dogs and cats are being put down every month in Florida.”
Booker is known for some flashy entrances, including this on at the 2012 National Kidney Foundation Surf Festival, where she jumps out of a helicopter!
The event, presented by Blue Buffalo, is a no kill event. The Nassau Humane Society (NHS), as well as other regional no kill rescue and spay and neuter operations, will be on site to promote “No Kill Florida.”
“’No kill’ means no kill,” says Pops. “The reason that Booker reached out and teamed up with the Nassau Humane Society is that they are a premier no kill shelter.”
The Nassau Humane Society has been finding loving homes in record numbers since their new animal rescue center opened up in November 2014. Having more space to work with means more care and more love, and to date no animals have ever been killed because they are not adopted or for lack of space.
In 2015 alone, the NHS found homes for almost one thousands dogs and cats. That could not have happened without the dedicated support of volunteers, staff, and community donations.
The NHS will be hosting No Kill Florida Village onsite during the upcoming event.
“Fernandina Beach prides itself on being a pet friendly community. Anything we can be involved in that promotes no kill shelters in our area is a bonus for our community,” says Jay Robertson, from the City of Fernandina Beach Parks and Recreation Department.
To some, it may seem like an inopportune time for Booker D. Surfdog to retire, especially since the country’s top canine athletes will be traveling from Texas, Massachusetts, Florida, New York and California to take part in the Easter Spring Break weekend event.
“Well that’s why I think she is like Reggie Jackson, she’s Mr. In or Out to me. I never really know what’s going on in Booker’s brain. I know how much she really loves to surf though, so we’ll see if she changes her mind again,” says Pops.
Booker’s not the only pup who surfs for a greater good. Check out these reformed pooches who learned discipline through surfing!
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