Doggie Gras 5K & Parade


Nearly 500 animal lovers and their furry friends took part in Helen Woodward Animal Center’s first ever Doggie Gras 5K and Parade at Embarcadero Marina Park in March. The Mardi Gras-inspired event featured colorful costumes, parade floats, enthusiastic runners and walkers taking on the 5K, and a performance by the University of California San Diego Pep Band during the parade, led by Millie the Goat and Bamboo the Skateboarding Dog. On BourBONE Street, attendees explored the Petco Foundation BARKetplace and enjoyed authentic south Louisiana-style food from LouZiana Food Truck, as well as a variety of other vendors, kid-friendly activities, opportunity drawings, costume contests, demonstrations by the Ballistic Racers Flyball Team, and award ceremonies.


Jeanne Patten and Suki won the float contest, wowing the judges with their creation, Magical Unipup with Magical Piano, and taking home the top prize – a $500 donation to their favorite nonprofit, a SeaWorld Encounter, and more. Helen Woodward Animal Center alum Sir Ruffles Von Vicious and his mom Jan Savage took first place in the costume contest with their creation, Feathers Flambeaux, and a prize including a $100 dog basket, Hornblower passes, and more.

The event netted $25,000 in support of Helen Woodward Animal Center pets and programs.

Helen Woodward Animal Center hosts a variety of fundraising events throughout the year, including the 31st Annual Spring Fling Gala on June 8, PAWmicon on July 7, and the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon on Sept. 8. Learn more at