Dogs make a splash at annual swim day at St. Petersburg’s Fossil Park Pool

The annual Dog Swim Day at St. Petersburg’s Fossil Park Pool is so popular that they’ve added a third session for this year’s event on August 28! Last year, Jana and Wylie had to wait more than half an hour for their turn to swim.

Fossil Park Pool hosts this annual soggy dog event a the end of each summer, the day before the pool is emptied, cleaned out, and closed for the season. People are not permitted to swim with their pets, but most of the accompanying humans get plenty wet anyhow.

Leash-free dogs can jump into the deep end, splash around the kiddie pool, or hang out near the steps where they might feel safer. At last year’s event, Jana learned to climb out using the ladder. Wylie belly-flopped in chasing tennis balls. Jana happily rounded up the toys that were floating everywhere. Other dogs on site seemed to be having just as much fun. We even witnessed a sibling reunion — three adolescent  Labrador littermates met up for the first time since leaving the nest.

Volunteers at the event collect monetary donations and dry Iams or Science Diet dog food, clean towels, Nylabones, bleach, dish soap, blankets, trash bags and newspapers for the S.P.C.A. Tampa Bay in Largo.

The number of dogs allowed in the water at a time is limited, so get there early or you'll have to wait outside until some tired, waterlogged dogs leave. Swim sessions are Saturday, August 28 at 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., and 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Admission is $5 per dog per session, with humans admitted for free.

Dogs must be at least six months old and have proof of current vaccinations. Humans are asked to sign a waiver and to fill out a registration form.

Fossil Park Pool is at 6739 Martin Luther King Jr. St. in St. Petersburg. For more information, call the Aquatics Department at 727-892-5884.

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