On September 3, 2013, American Pool participated in a local Doggie Paddle swimming event. The proceeds of this annual event at the in New Town Pool in Owings Mills, Maryland were donated to the Baltimore Humane Society.

This 10-year event brings people (and dogs) together for a big end-of-the-season swim. For a small donation, New Town residents were free to bring their four-legged friends to splash, swim and dive into the cool pool water.

Alisa, a board member of the Owings Mills New Town Pool and Doggie Paddle volunteer shared, “It’s a great time of year to do it because we’re not using the pool anymore,” she added, “People plan their vacation around this event.”

10 years ago, the idea for the event was inspired by a conversation in a dog park between four friends. Angie, a co-founder of the event said, “It’s a fast way to make $800 to $1,000 for a shelter in just two-and-a-half hours.”

Alfreda, a community resident, brings her six-year-old rescue dog named Stikky Paws every year, “We’ve been coming to all events – Stikky supports the Humane Society 100%.” This mini Dachshund was ready to tackle the pool with a neon-green safety vest – equipped with handle.

The pool operator’s perspective

If you are considering an event like this at your community pool, you will need to get your pool operator to prepare the pool. Matt Huson is the American Pool Regional Manager for the New Town Pool. From the pool-preservation perspective, he listed the following must-dos for this type of event:

  1. Make sure the chlorine is not too high, as the dogs will be drinking the water.
  2. Schedule the event right after the last day of the pool season.
  3. Make sure you are not planning on opening the pool to human swimmers for awhile. The dogs will shed and make other messes that will render it unsuitable.
  4. Turn the pool pump off. Dog hair is not good for the pump and filters!

Make the event a real success

Make sure all pet owners understand that they are responsible for the actions of their pets and that overly rough behavior will not be tolerated. Think about partnering with a group like the Humane Society or ASPCA to make sure any funds raised from the event go to animals in need.

And don’t forget to advertise! The Doggie Paddle at Owings Mills New Town is a popular event, but only because their volunteers get the word out well in advance.

Click on the image below to see a slideshow of event images:

Watch a video about the Doggie Paddle swim event: