The only nonprofit Surf & SUP brand that benefits injured rescue dogs 100%
By the Numbers
Dogs RESCUED: ~460
Dogs ADOPTED out: 1,810
Sea-Turtles SAVED: ~72
Amount of Trash Cleaned-Up from the Ocean and Beaches: 3.2 Tons (view more)
Guinness World Records: 2 (view more)
Money Raised for Animals*: $1,000,200
*Including through partner organizations
Where does the term Salty Dog Paddle originate?
A quote from Adam Driver (actor), US Marine Veteran, whose goal was to become a Recon Marine or “Raider:”
“The paddle is the holy grail for a Salty Dog [Seasoned Marine]. What getting enshrined in the Hall of Fame means to a football player is almost as important as receiving a paddle for a Recon Marine. There has been debate within the community on the actual origins of the paddle, however that is neither here nor there. We have adopted it, it is ours. Receiving a paddle when you depart your basic recon course is not a right, it is not expected, it is earned. If your team feels like you have been a reliable team guy and that you have upheld all of the standards in the creed only then will they talk about making you a paddle. Paddles aren’t popularity contests. I have seen friends who made lat moves to 0321 leave without paddles because even if they were a “good guy” they weren’t a good “team guy.” Paddles have been broken for NCO’s not thinking another deserved one when he left. It’s nothing personal when it happens. When one of my buddies who stayed in sees a paddle when he walks out of his door, he doesn’t look at it and think “man I did a great job at my previous unit.” He looks at it and is reminded of the standard he’s expected to uphold. It doesn’t stop when you leave, you never stop trying to prove yourself worthy. These paddles are their most prized possessions. There is no man or force on earth that can keep them from their paddle. If I had been able to stay in, I wish I had the chance at earning a paddle.”
Our organization is named after this principle. We believe that the injured dogs and other animals that we help, who have been discarded by their previous owners and by society deserve the opportunity for a second chance at life. If they can fully heal and recover from their injuries, and can adapt to living in a forever home; they are awarded a paddle as a sign of their accomplishment. Because “It’s Okay to be Salty.”
Originally founded in 1977 as a for-profit surf brand in Florida, Salty Dog Paddle became a volunteer public charity that has raised over 1 million dollars over 42 years for injured animals throughout America and has been recognized by Central Florida Lifestyle Magazine, The New Barker, and Bring Fido as the most notable animal organization in Florida. According to Facebook, it is the most popular watersports charity in America and according to Amazon, it is the most popular nonprofit surf brand in the USA as of 2019.
As a volunteer-based nonprofit, many celebrities have come to support the organization as volunteers including Actor – Adam Driver, the Prince of Italy – Lorenzo Borghese, Animal Advocate – Georgina Bloomberg, 4X World Surfing Champion – Wendy Botha, Tiktok Star – Makayla Storms, Recording Artist – Kendra Erika, Race Car Champion – Colin Thompson, Playboy Covergirl – Vikki Lenola, Pro Golfer – Peter Uihlein, CBS Reporter – Paul Mueller, Delray Beach Mayor – Cary Glickstein, Reality TV Star – Zach Rance, Country Singer – James McCoy Taylor, Recording Artist – Drew Cole, TV Host – Derek Peth, Radio Host – Spanish, ESPN Host – Josh Cohen, Model – Courtney Quinn, Blogger – Chelsea Gates, Philanthropist – Arthur Benjamin, Wilhelmina Model – Lauren Padron, and many others.
The charity has received endorsements from the ASPCA, HSUS, American Dog Rescue, and Animal Aid USA.
How we do it
The charity raises money through water sports activities and through the sale of its clothing and apparel called “Salty Swag,” available on Amazon. Water sports activities include stand-up paddleboarding and surfing whether it be lessons, guided ecological tours, or rentals. The cost of these goods and services is offset by corporate sponsorships, so the charity can pass on all of the proceeds they receive directly to the animals they support.
Current major sponsors include Chewy, Red Roof Inn, Applebees, California Board Company, Scott Burke, Glide, Better Surf than Sorry, Cafe Don Pablo Coffee, Fetch my Vet, Tealixir, Barrel of Monks Brewery, Monkey in Paradise Vodka, and Gratitude Wellness.
Although the brand was originally called Salty Dog Surf, the name was changed in the early 1990s when stand up paddleboarding became popular and replacing the suffix of “surf” with “paddle” was a double meaning with dog paddle. The name “Salty Dog,” itself originates with the US Navy and Marines who are referred to as Salty Dogs (Marines are also known as Devil Dogs). Many of the volunteers who lead the charity are members of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard as well as veterans of those branches.
In 2014 under the direction of our former Executive Director (from 2014 – 2016) and US Marine veteran, Clinton Cimring, along with US Navy Veteran, Hillary Dawson the business was transformed into a nonprofit and became an IRS recognized 501c3 public charity the following year (2015).
The charity features a different severely injured animal each month to sponsor referred to as a “Salty Dog” and has promised to donate 100% of any and all proceeds (not just profits) directly to the veterinarian treating the animal – they do not keep any portion for themselves and can guarantee transparency of funds this way.
During each month the charity hosts many events and fundraisers in South Florida where it is headquartered in order to raise money for their Salty Dog of the month including dog-friendly Yappy Hours, Puppy Paddle’s, Full Moon Paddle’s, stand up paddle races, Hang Twenty dog surfing contests and an annual fundraiser called Barks, Babes, & Bros, which is a themed celebrity bachelor and bachelorette auction to benefit injured rescue dogs. Since becoming a nonprofit in 2015, the charity has raised over $1,000,000 through these activities and has saved over 100 severely injured animals including Smokey (renamed Fenrir) the mascot for the largest rescue in Palm Beach County Florida called Peggy Adams League of Rescues. Besides the medical care of animals, the charity has also helped adopt out over 1,000 animals at its partner rescues and shelters.
The charity’s current mascot (2018-present) is a black lab mix named Destiny. Destiny was featured on every major news outlet from September – November 2018 in America and their Development Director, Samantha Dishman, appeared on Good Morning America to discuss Destiny’s story. Destiny is the epitome of a salty dog since her former owner dragged her a half mile along a highway while tied to a pickup truck. Due to the extent of her injuries, no rescue in South Florida was willing to help her, which is why Salty Dog Paddle stepped in. Despite the severity of her injuries, Destiny made a full recovery and is the embodiment of what the charity stands for in rescuing other salty dogs.
In 2020 we received enough support from Sponsors to expand into Southern California and the Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Washington).
Salty Dog Paddle
401 South County Road
PO Box 2943
Palm Beach, FL 33480-2943
Phone: (561) 777-5999 (text only)
A copy of Salty Dog Paddle’s Sales Tax Exemption can be obtained by calling 800-352-3671.
A copy of the IRS 501(c)(3) Exemption can be obtained by calling 800-829-4933.
A copy of the Florida DCS Registration can be obtained by calling 800-HELP-FLA.
DCS Registration #: DTN2918769
D-U-N-S Number: 117376759