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‘Scent-Topia’ scavenger hunt for dogs in Surrey this weekend

It’s hoped the event can become an annual fundraiser for Surrey Animal Resource Centre

Kyrsten Downton, Now-Leader contributor

Handlers and their dogs will be having their own amazing race in Surrey this weekend.

Surrey Animal Resource Centre (SARC) will be hosting their first-ever “Scent-Topia” event on April 14, a scavenger hunt for “working nose dogs” and their owners.

“Nose work is a fast growing dog sport,” said Shelley Joaquin, SARC manager. “A really nice benefit of nose work is that it can be done with shelter animals as well. It’s a sport that is available to a wider variety of dogs.”

“Nose work” is a term used to describe scent detection in dogs.

The Saturday event, which doubles as a fundraiser for the Surrey shelter, will run all day as owners and their dogs race each other throughout the city to three different locations to catch certain scents. Each location will be complete with a “selfie station” for participants.

Joaquin hopes the event not only promotes SARC, but the sport itself for owners to consider training their pups in.

“We just want everyone to have fun,” Joaquin said. “Nose work is a unique sport. You are actually watching your dog and learning from them and it is a great way to build confidence in them.”

Ribbons and prizes will be awarded Saturday for the best scores, selfie photos, and most money raised for the event, with all proceeds going to support SARC.

“Our goal for the event is a fundraiser to help care for the animals here at the shelter but also to bring awareness to fun things people can do with their dogs,” said Joaquin.

It’s hoped the event will become the shelter’s “niche” fundraiser. “We’re definitely hoping it’s going to become annual,” she added. “That way we can then grow it to where spectators can come and watch.”

The event is set for 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday, April 14. Registration is open until April 13 for experienced nose work dogs and their owners. Registration details can be found on Facebook at the Surrey Animal Resource Centre page.

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