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Dog swim fundraiser at Madison’s Goodman Pool to go on with more state oversight

August 22, 2018

The annual Dog Paddle at Madison's Goodman Pool will go on this year with a little more state oversight.

Dogs will have their day at Madison’s Goodman Pool as part of a fundraising event in September despite increased state oversight.

The annual Dog Paddle, hosted by the nonprofit Capital K9s organization, will go on largely as normal this year after the event received approval from the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, said Josh Schmitt, the city’s aquatics and park ranger supervisor.

Baraboo, though, canceled its Doggie Dip this year, which has raised money for the city’s dog park in the past, due to new state oversight of such events.

Baraboo parks director Mike Hardy said the main reason it was canceled is that people and dogs are not allowed in the pool together under any circumstances.

State law has long prohibited dogs from public pools, Schmitt said, but the Madison event operated in “sort of a gray area” as the pool water has been technically closed for people to go in at previous Dog Paddles.

The Madison fundraiser gives dogs the chance to swim in the public pool at 325 W. Olin Ave. and compete in competitions, such as a long jump. Capital K9s donates proceeds from the entry fees for dogs and their human companions and from a dog-washing station to benefit the Madison Police Department’s K9 Unit.

Schmitt said little will change for the Madison event aside from having dogs be washed before they enter the pool to ensure better clarity of the water, known as turbidity, so it’s easier for lifeguards to monitor the pool for people who may have fallen in.

Additionally, the Goodman Pool water will have higher levels of chlorine than previous Dog Paddles in case people accidentally fall in, he said.

The canine-focused fundraiser runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 9. A family and one dog can buy a swim-only ticket for $20 or a swim and post-swim wash ticket for $25. Dogless spectators can get in for $10.

The Dog Paddle always happens after the last day Goodman Pool is open to the public, which is Sept. 3 this year.

The Baraboo News Republic contributed to this report.

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