BELPRE - The city of Belpre is giving its four-legged residents and community members a chance to cool off and take a dip in the municipal swimming pool with the third annual Doggie Swim at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 21.
"This is such a fun event to be a part of," said city auditor Leslie Pittenger. "We started it three years ago as a way to let dogs enjoy the pool facilities and it has been so popular it has become a yearly thing."
The event is presented by the city of Belpre and the Marietta Family YMCA, which manages the city pool. The Belpre City Pool is in Civitan Park between the Civitan Building and baseball field on Blennerhassett Avenue.
Organizers hope this year will draw more furry participants since last year 12 large dogs attended the two-hour program.
"The first year for the swim there were about 10 dogs who participated, but the weather wasn't the best cold and raining," Pittenger said. "Last year's weather was a lot better and about 20 dogs showed up, so, this year we are hoping for even more."
Pittenger said there are many dogs who like to swim and play in pools and are not allowed to during the summer season.
"I think that once dog owners hear about the doggie swim, they will see it as a great opportunity for their pets to have fun," she added.
The forecast for the event is currently partly sunny with a high of 86 degrees and humidity.
While owners are required to be at the pool with their dogs, the swimming is only for the canines.
"The event is only for the dogs and people are not allowed in the pool with their pets," Pittenger said.
Normally dogs are not allowed in the city swimming pool, but the event is timed to allow pets to partake of the facility.
"Dogs aren't supposed to swim in chlorine, so we allow it to evaporate before they come in," Pittenger said.
Chlorine and other pool chemicals takes a couple of days to dissipate from the water, so the event is scheduled to give enough time for the water to be safe after the pool's Aug. 18 last day.
"School starts Aug. 20, so we gave the kids the opportunity to spend every day possible at the pool this summer," said Mayor Mike Lorentz.
The pool will be drained for the season following the doggie swim.
Rules of the doggie swim are that each dog must have proof of vaccination and a current dog license, no humans are allowed in the pool, no aggressive dogs will be admitted, and children and pets must be supervised by an adult.
The cost to participate is $5 a dog.