Daily 49er

SoCal Corgi Nation hoard Huntington Beach

With meetups registered at 634 dogs and 1,300 people, supportive local adoption groups, bunny-butted corgis are herding a following.

Riva Lu, Contributing Writer

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The stub-legged swarm of Welsch hounds waddled into Huntington Dog Beach, dragging their bellies in the sand for SoCal’s Corgi Nation’s ninth event on Saturday.

Founded by a Long Beach-based married couple in October 2012, the community organization coordinates four meet-ups per year that include meet and greets with the “Insta-famous” corgis and corgi limbo contests.

“Our dog, Mr. Pickles, was on Facebook and we decided that we wanted to have a beach day with our friends,” Kelly McLemore, the co-founder of SoCal Corgi Nation and owner of an 8-year-old corgi, said. “At the first [get-together], there were 12 to 15 corgis. It was so much fun, we said ‘let’s do it again!’”

With over 634 corgis registered and 1,300 human attendees, the beach-bound hound organization is one of the largest southern California corgi meet-ups so far, celebrating the heavy-set affection for the stout-set breed and their expanding following.

According to the SoCal Corgi Beach Day Facebook page, corgi lovers from all over the state travel to make the meet so that their corgis can interact with their doggy brothers and sisters. Two corgi siblings were reunited at the event, both born on the same day and from the same breeder from Santa Clara.

“Corgis are just so lovely and have really big butts,” April Tasai, an attendee from Irvine, said as she cradled her 3-month-old corgi. “She’s really energetic and obedient. She fell down the stairs once, but she didn’t cry. It was actually me who cried.”

Amongst Saturday’s 500 or so floppy-eared fur balls, McLemore said that since the first meet-up, the number of attendees doubled, then quadrupled and “has taken on a life of it’s own now.”

Since the SoCal Corgi Nation meet-ups have been such a great success, McLemore and her co-founder and husband, Dan McLemore, added merchandise that include stickers, flags and T-shirts to sell at the event.

“The proceeds go towards Queen’s Best Stumpy Dog Rescue; they’re the only rescue we work with,” McLemore said, referencing the volunteer based, non-profit corporation at the IRS 501(c)3 status.

McLemore says that within the past few years, she has seen QBSDR, a corgi and friends dog rescue, grow rapidly and praised their team for going “above and beyond the call of duty.”

“I do believe that since we have partnered with Queen’s Best, there has been an increase in adoptions and fostering,” McLemore said. “We give them a portion of the proceeds and help them with their rescues. They’re a great charity [and] we wanted to choose a local rescue that was just getting off the ground.”

Veterinary Healthcare Center in Pomona is where QBSRD donations and adoptions are mainly held, but at the event, the nonprofit was present and ready to allocate adoptions and potential foster puppy-parents.

“All the proceeds and donations go straight to the dogs,” Matthew Mendoza, a technician at Veterinary Healthcare Center in Pomona, said while keeping watch at the center’s booth.

Since collaborating with QBSRD, Mendoza mentioned that the veterinary center has gotten more fosters for corgis.

The next corgi meet-up will be on the July 11 at Huntington Dog Beach.

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