August 29, 2022

DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU! Wags & Waves Fundraiser Set for Sunday




'Wags & Waves' Humane Society fundraiser event

expected to draw in canines and caretakers

RAPID CITY—It’s not certain whether the strains of ‘Hound Dog’ or ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’ will play overhead, but it’s a ‘double dog dare’ sure bet there will be some ‘hot doggin’ and ‘running with the dogs’ this Sunday when the City’s Jimmy Hilton Pool is turned over to man’s – and woman’s – best friend…literally!

            The Humane Society of the Black Hills will host the seventh annual Wags & Waves fundraiser at the Jimmy Hilton Pool at Sioux Park.  The event is scheduled for 1-4 p.m. this Sunday.

            Pool etiquette may be in short supply when the likes of Bella, Max, Luna, Charlie, Lucy, Buddy, Duke, Chloe and all their four-legged friends take over the pool.  Tails wagging, tongues panting, nose-to-nose greetings and tennis ball and frisbee chasing will be just some of the attractions. 

            A $5 donation per animal is requested at the gate and proceeds support the Humane Society of the Black Hills, supporting the care of 5,000 animals.  The public is also encouraged to drop off donations of pet food.

             Humane Society officials apply a few rules for the event: dogs must be under their owner's supervision and control at all times; dogs can swim freely but humans cannot go in the water above their knees; and owners are asked to pick up after their pets to keep the pool area neat and clean.

             It's unknown if cats – even the cool cats of the town – can take part, but they’d be wise to ‘swim at their own risk’.

            “This event is our biggest summer fundraiser and keeps people in the community talking throughout the year,” said Caitlin Ausmann, resource development specialist/volunteer coordinator for the Humane Society of the Black Hills.  “Everyone has a blast.  It’s a great way for the dogs to cool off and donations from the event support the shelter’s programs. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

            Whether it's more fun for the dogs or their owners is up for debate.  Since the event's inception, hundreds of dogs have left the comfortable confines of their couches and the attractions of fire hydrants and car bumpers to sun themselves poolside and frolic in the cool, clear waters of the Jimmy Hilton pool. Swimmers can be seen ‘working like a dog’ to retrieve balls and frisbees; many will be diving in for a cool dip from poolside or chasing and splashing each other.  Others spend time on the sidelines, meeting new canine friends during an afternoon of canine cavorting.

            The Jimmy Hilton Sioux Park Pool closed to the public after this past Sunday (August 28). 

            “The Wags and Waves event is always a great event and there is a lot of interest in the community,” said Jeff Biegler, City Parks and Recreation director.  “It’s a great way to end the summer pool season.  The dogs and their owners have a lot of fun with it.”

            Biegler says the pool will be drained after Sunday’s event.

            And after the event, it’s certain that many of the four-legged swimmers will go home and ‘sleep like a dog’!

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