Corvallis Parks and Recreation’s Osborn Aquatic Center hosted nearly 600 dogs and 1,000 people at its eighth annual Dog Day on Saturday.
Participants paid $5 to attend one of three event sessions throughout the day. Admission fees and donations went to Parks and Recreation’s Family Assistance Program, which helps local low-income families gain access to recreation programs and classes.
James Mellein of Osborn Aquatic Center said the event had become popular enough in recent years that some people come only to spectate and donated to the cause.
Mellein said that over 300 dogs came to the morning session alone.
“People understand how important our fundraisers are every year,” Mellein said. “A lot of people come from out of town, so they’re bringing outside money to local business.”
One of those people was Stephanie Steele of Eugene, who brought her blue great Dane, Bella, and Tibetan terrier, JJ.
“We drove down just for the event,” Steele said, noting that there are no similar events in Eugene. “I’ve been looking forward to it all year.”
Steele also appreciated that there were shallow sections and fountains because Bella does not like to swim.
“It’s not just a pool,” Steele said. “There’s something for every dog.”
Dog Day even appeals to older dogs, like Luna, a 10-year-old golden retriever who has attended the event for the past three years with owner Allison Cardwell.
“I think this is one of the coolest things Corvallis does,” said Steele, who was happy to make the minimum donation of $5 for the fundraiser. “Especially here, people are so into their dogs, they’re family.”
The annual event is always held right before Osborn drains the outdoor pools for maintenance.
The event was coordinated by Mike Fischer from Corvallis Parks and Recreation. About a dozen volunteers and five employees assist with Dog Day.