Baraboo pool won’t hold Doggie Dip

August 21, 2018

Citing a change in state regulations, Baraboo canceled its annual Doggie Dip this year at the Campbell Park swimming pool.

The city’s Parks and Recreation Department announced Thursday on its Facebook page that the outdoor pool would close for the season the next day, and the Doggie Dip — a longtime fundraiser for the city dog park — wouldn’t be held due to a change in the state health code.

“The main change is that under no circumstances are people allowed in the pool with their dogs,” said Parks Director Mike Hardy.

That’s a challenge because even at the shallow end, the main pool is too deep for some dogs to get out of without help. Hardy said the event could have been moved to the adjacent wading pool, but that pool likely would’ve been too small to accommodate the 50 dogs that normally participate. Plus, a portion of that area is currently fenced off due to a broken pipe.

“We felt the overcrowding could lead to potential issues between some of the dogs confined in such a small area,” Hardy said.

Hardy said canceling the event was a difficult decision, as he launched it in 2010. It has raised more than $6,000 for the dog park.

“We hope to work on a solution to bring this back in the future, which may be as easy as building a ramp for the dogs to get in and out of the pool without owners getting in the water with them, which would help meet requirements,” he said.

Sauk County Humane Society Executive Director Dana Madalon, whose organization has partnered with the city on past Doggie Dips, said she hopes the city will find a way to preserve the tradition.

“The Doggie Dip is a very fun event that takes place on the last day of the year for the pool, which is drained immediately afterward,” she said. “It would be nice if something could be put in place to allow the event to continue.”

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