Pandemic or not, dogs will still have their day at a few pools in Lancaster County in September.
As pools close around Labor Day, dog swims have become a popular way to add one last swim before the pools are drained. A few pools are continuing that tradition in 2020. Some are canceling the dog swim for the year.
Even before Southern End Community Association Pool set a date for the dogs, yet people call daily asking when they can bring their pooches, says Celeste Esposito, administrative assistant.
The pool in Quarryville opened in late June because of remodeling and COVID-19. The association would like to keep the pool open later than normal, during weekends in September if lifeguards are available. Once weekend sessions end, a dog swim will end the season on Saturday, Sept. 26.
“Everybody loves it and it’s so much fun,” Esposito says.
Conestoga Pines Pool will end the year with Pooches in the Pool.
Last year, the pool partnered with American Cancer Society, a group that held a Bark For Life event with vendors, a dog parade and contests. About 250 people showed up along with more than 75 dogs, says A.J. Eckman, marketing and development manager at Lancaster Rec.
This year’s event will be much smaller and limited to 30 people at a time. Even if the event is scaled back, having a dog day is still worth hosting, Eckman says.
“Animals need to get a break too,” he says.
The doggie swim at Millersville Lions Club Pool has been a hit with dogs and their handlers, says Lions Club president Pat Benson.
People without pets also show up to watch the dogs slide down the slide, jump from the diving board and have fun before the pool closes.
Story continues below photos.
Other pools will not have dog days.
Ephrata Community Pool’s dog days of summer dog swim usually brings dozens of doggies.
Under the state’s reopening rules, 250 people are allowed at the pool, says Jean Wentz, Ephrata Rec membership/program coordinator. However, what happens when dogs are added to the mix?
“How are they going to social distance?” she says.
To be safe, the dog swim will not be held.
Adamstown Community Pool did not open in 2020 so there will be no Doggie Day Swim to end the swim season.
Here are more details about four local dog swims:
Pooches in the Pool
Where: Conestoga Pines Pool, 200 Arthur E. Morris Parkway, Lancaster
When: Saturday, Sept. 12. Register for admission to the 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. session or the 12:30-2 p.m. Each session will be limited to 30 people. Rain date is Sunday, Sept. 13.
Rules: Bring proof of rabies vaccination. Handlers must be at least 16 years old.
More information: lancasterrec.org
Where: Millersville Lions Club Pool, 314 N. Prince St., Millersville.
When: Saturday, Sept. 12, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cost: $10 per dog with proceeds donated to Millersville Lions Club and local charities.
Rules: Clean up after dogs. For spectators, practice social distancing.
More information: facebook.com/lionsclubpool or 717-872-2071.
Where: Lititz Springs Pool, 201 Maple St., Lititz
When: Monday, Sept. 14 and Tuesday, Sept. 14, 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Cost: $10 per pup per day. Register with Lititz recCenter.
Rules: Bring proof of rabies vaccination, license, leash and clean-up supplies.
More information: lititzrec.com or 717-626-5096
Where: Southern End Community Association Pool, 299 Park Ave., Quarryville.
When: Saturday, Sept. 26, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cost: Donations are accepted with proceeds going to the association.
Rules: Bring proof of vaccines. Dog handlers must be 18 years or older. Pool staff plan to limit the number of people allowed the complex.
More information: Call the association’s main office, 717-806-0123 or facebook.com/SECARec.