Dogs to be unleashed for charity
Pool and 50+ Club bring in four-legged friends for help
By: Scott Hayes
| Posted: Saturday, Sep 01, 2012 06:00 am
The last day for the Grosvenor Park Outdoor Pool’s season is coming up quick and its administrators have a unique and community-minded way to send it out with a bark.
The city’s first annual dog swim takes place on Monday, Sept. 3 from 5 to 9 p.m. Human patrons of the pool will sit on the sidelines as they bring in their four-legged companions to splash around and help to support the Second Chance Animal Rescue Society, otherwise known as SCARS.
Robynne Bruns is a lifeguard at the facility, and also the summer program co-ordinator. She said she’s heard of similar events at other public pools and figured that the time had come for St. Albert to have something of its own.
“Originally it was one of the other staff members here who had brought up the idea,” she said. “I did some research and there are quite a few other facilities that have done this in the past, none really close to around here.”
Once the dogs go in, however, people will have to stay out. The pool is adhering to strict rules set out by Alberta Health Services that also stipulate that the filters will be turned off. Dogs must also be supervised at all times and be put on leashes out of the pool at all times. They must also have up to date vaccinations.
SCARS is a not-for-profit society with bases in both Edmonton and Athabasca. The 10-year-old rescue operation strives to lower the number of homeless and abandoned animals in Northern Alberta and save as many of these furry friends as possible. It seeks to take in unadopted animals that are facing euthanasia at various municipal pounds. It then adopts them out with numbers approaching 1,000 adoptions each year.
It also promotes responsible guardianship by encouraging pet owners to spay and neuter, as well as vaccinate, microchip and train their animals.
Bruns enthusiastically encourages all dog lovers to bring their pets out for the event. Since this is the first dog swim, she doesn’t know how many furry tails will eventually make it into the pool.
“I know we’ve had at least four or five phone calls from people with questions and confirming that they were coming,” she said. “Just by word of mouth, I’ve heard quite a few people mention that they would be stopping by with their dogs.”
Attendees can access the dog swim via the back gate. There will be fresh water bowls on the deck where the pet owners can hose their dogs off before and after the swim. Fetch toys are allowed in the pool.
To support the charity, people are encouraged to bring cash donations for admission. New or gently used pet toys, blankets and towels will also be accepted.
The pool is located at 1 Grenfell Ave. For more information, call the pool at 780-458-2002. For details about the charity, visit www.scarscare.org or call 780-466-SCAR (7227).
Paws for a Cause
The city’s premier organization designed to promote healthy and active living for seniors is gearing up to host an annual event that will bring out people of all ages … and their canine companions.
The St. Albert 50+ Club (formerly known as the St. Albert Senior Citizens’ Club) is hosting Paws for a Cause next weekend. The public event is intended to help benefit various animal-based community groups as well as the club itself.
Chantelle Labrecque, the club’s executive director, says that people should expect some things that they’ve never seen before, like wiener dog races and a doggy kissing booth.
“I’m not quite sure how that one’s going to work. It’s like a photo booth,” she said.
The free event takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8 at Lions Park. Families young and old can bring their dogs for a day filled with fun activities including a kids’ corner with arts and crafts, games, face painting and a bouncy house.
Treats will be available for sale, plus there will be live entertainment and a charity barbecue, proceeds from which will go to support the Edmonton Humane Society, Humane Animal Rescue Team and Beagle Paws.
Labrecque also mentioned that there would be a free seminar with Steve Gendron, owner and animal trainer from Perfect Place Kennels, who frequently offers sessions through Paradise Pets.
“It’s shaping up to be really good. It should be a good day,” she said.
Barkers Pet Motel and Grooming is one of the main sponsors. You can expect them to have one of the 15 or so booths at the event. This will be a smaller pet expo than last year but it will still include groups like Edmonton Wildlife Rehabilitation plus vendors of animal-based supplies and services.
Despite the organization’s name change, you can still find out more information at its website at www.stalbertseniorsclub.org or by calling 780-459-0433.