Pound for pound, they might be the fiercest competitors to hit the track at the Los Alamitos Race Course. More likely, they’re just the cutest.
They are the wiener dogs, and they’re back today fro the 17th Annual Wiener Nationals. The race, an all-around spectacle, draws thousands of people every year and helps to raise money for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center, a no-kill shelter devoted to cats and dogs.
More than 80 dogs will compete this year, and the winner will take home $250 and will win a trip to the San Diego to compete for the title of the nation’s top wiener.
The regional competition in Los Alamitos helped raise nearly $20,000 last year for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center.
Jim Welch, 20-year volunteer at the Seal Beach Animal Care Center, worked with reigning last year’s reigning champ Penny Lane and her owner Trish Ausilio at the center as well as during the Wienerschinitzel Regional competition.
“I have run the fundraising for the Wienerschinitzel competitions for the 17 years they have been going on. Over the 17 years, over $200,000 in profit has been raised for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center,” said Welch.
As the regional champions Penny Lane and Ausilio participate in various parades such as the La Palma Parade and the Balboa Parade in order to raise animal awareness. The two also visit communities to collect blankets from residents for the shelter. She usually bakes cookies and cupcakes to trade for these blankets. Ausilio regularly drops off the blankets to the Seal Beach Animal Care Center.
For this year’s competition, admission is free for children and $3 for adults. Gates open at 4:30 p.m., followed by the first race at 6 p.m., and the final race at 9:00 p.m. The racetrack is at 4961 Katella Ave. in Los Alamitos.
To learn more about the Seal Beach Animal Care Center and ways to help, click here.