GILBERT, Ariz. - Rescue dogs and a cat are hanging 10 in Gilbert Saturday.
They are part of the Lucy Pet’s Gnarly Crankin K-9 Wave Maker team, which travels around the country showing off the animals' surfing skills. Two stars of the squad are Coppertone the dachshund and his partner Ricky the rescue kitty, who surf as a team.
“They say cats don’t like water and they don’t like dogs. Well, Ricky surfs and he surfs with a dog, which is his best friend (Coppertone). Ricky is all by himself walks on the board because Coppertone was on the board. Ricky just wanted to be with Coppertone," said Jerry Herrick, founder of the Lucy Pet Foundation. "When he walked on the surfboard, we said ‘Hey, let’s see if this works.’ And it did."
They surf in what Jerry Herrick calls the only canine surf machine in the world. He built it last year.
The 75-foot-long tank has a 5,000-gallon portable wave generator that pushes the surf board forward taking the dogs and cat for a gnarly ride. The surf machine was featured in the 2017 Rose Bowl Parade.
The canine surf machine is part of the Lucy Pet Foundation. Herrick and his team travel to the lower-income areas of Los Angeles with a spay-and-neuter mobile truck and perform the procedures for free.
“[We do it] to try and stop the 80,000 cats and dogs a week that are getting euthanized across the country because of the pet overpopulation," said Herrick. "If people would realize that if they spay and neuter their pets, they live 40 percent longer, less vet bills, certain cancers go away completely. And they make good pets."
The spay-and-neuter mobile truck will not be in the Valley this weekend. Lucy Pet’s Gnarly Crankin K-9 Wave Maker will be and visitors are invited to bring their pets for a picture and the chance to try their paw at surfing.
The events are free and you can catch them:
Saturday at The Pet Club in Gilbert, 2530 S Val Vista Dr. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Sunday at Chase Field in Phoenix for Bark at the Park