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Puppy pool party brings pets to the Aquatic Center

Grinnell+community+dogs+got+the+chance+to+cool+off+before+the+Grinnell+Mutual+Family+Aquatic+Center+was+drained.+Photo+by+Helena+Gruensteidl.
Grinnell community dogs got the chance to cool off before the Grinnell Mutual Family Aquatic Center was drained. Photo by Helena Gruensteidl.

A dog pool party may seem too good to be true, but on Wednesday, Aug. 30, Grinnell Mutual Family Aquatic Center hosted its fifth annual Dog Swim. This year all the proceeds went to the Poweshiek Animal League Shelter (PALS) Dog Park.

“[The Dog Swim has] been a very popular fundraising event for other facilities, and after enough years of talking to quite a few other directors, we decided to give it a try ourselves,” said Kelly Rose, aquatic director of the Grinnell Mutual Family Aquatic Center and Parks and Recreation director.

Each year, the proceeds from the Dog Swim have gone to a different charity that focuses on dogs.

“It could be from dog drinking fountains in our parks to the PALS Dog Park,” Rose said.

The Dog Swim is a very popular event in the community, with roughly 30 dogs in attendance each year. The cost of admission is $10 per dog, but humans are allowed in for free, making for a bustling community event.

Dodi Reilly, a resident of Grinnell, attended the Dog Swim for the first time this year with her dog Smokey.

“I think it’s terrific,” she said. “This is the first time our dog has been in the water.”

Laura and Steve Poole, also Grinnell residents, are Dog Swim veterans. The Pooles utilize the event as a way to teach their dog, Leo, how to swim.

“Leo loves it,” Steve Poole laughed.

“It’s just a lot of fun to watch the dogs having fun,” Laura Poole added.

The Dog Park will be located on PALS property. It will feature agility training obstacles and space for the dogs to roam and play.

The biggest cost for the Dog Park is the fencing. According to the PALS website, fencing alone will cost approximately 25,000 dollars, making this fundraiser crucial for the Dog Park.

Dianna Townsend, PALS Shelter Operation Manager, hopes to have the Dog Park open as soon as possible.

“We’re hoping to have it open by the middle of September, but it wouldn’t be until next year that everything is completely finished, such as getting a dog fountain, and park benches,” she said.

Townsend has been coordinating an event with Elizabeth Hill from the Conard Enviromental Research Area, in which students would come to the Dog Park and plant native plants.

“By the time they’re done we’re hoping to have an oak savannah,” Townsend said.

Townsend stresses volunteer work as critical to the continuation of PALS. It is very easy for students to get involved with this organization, as student group Pals of PALS volunteers at the shelter weekly.

 

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