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Pooch pool party

WMC pool plays host to four-legged swimmers for dog park fundraiser

The dog paddle isn’t an uncommon sight at the WMC pool, but it’s not usually the real thing. That’s exactly what went on last Friday, however, as the Woofwich dog park committee played host to some four-legged swimmers.

The third annual Doggie Paddle event saw some 50 participants take to the water.

Small dogs and puppies took their turn in the pool first, 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., with all dogs enjoying the cool pool water from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

“We drain our pool each year anyways for preventative maintenance, so the rest of the year we can run as per normal and it was just a really good opportunity to take advantage of the water that is already sitting there. This is our third year,” said Michelle Hilborn, program coordinator at the Woolwich Memorial Centre.

Last year’s event saw 20 swimmers, and the year before had around 30.

In addition to the evening swim, participants took home grab bags full of locally donated products.

“We have so much awesome support in the community because these are all local,” she said. “It is really fantastic to feel that support and it shows us what we are working towards is hopefully going to benefit the whole community – by having safe spaces for dogs.”

The Woofwich dog park committe is the group behind the recently opened unfenced, off-leash dog park in St. Jacobs.

However, with that finished the group does have one new fundraising effort on the docket – a fenced-in dog park in Elmira.

“Now we are fundraising for a new location. It is still undecided – we are really hoping for Elmira, and that is what the committee is hoping for too. We are in our planning stages and nothing is set in stone yet, but fundraising is definitely the next big step on what we are going to be working on for the next year,” she said. “For the park estimate, we are looking at about $40,000 for that much fencing.”

The group raised just over $500 to go towards their next project, as organizers aim for a dog park in Elmira. [Ali Wilson / The Observer]

The proposed lot size is about an acre, she added. “So we have got a lot of work ahead of us.”

Hilborn said their goal is to work with some groups and businesses to aid in the cost of fencing.

“We have structured out some price points and then we are hoping to get some community support as well, so like ‘Buy a Foot of Fence’ is kind of what we are hoping for to get the last bit there,” she explained.

Less expenses, the 51 doggie paddle participants brought in a total of $516 to go towards the Elmira location.

“We were thrilled. A big portion will go towards the next project,” she said.

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