Dog Day at the Pool raises money for Murphysboro animal shelter

CARBONDALE, Ill. (KBSI) – In the dog days of summer, a fundraiser involving swimming dogs is only fitting.

In partnership with Murphysboro animal shelter St. Francis CARE, Carbondale Super Splash Park held its annual Dog Day at the Pool on Sunday. Around 120 good boys and girls got to cool off on a 90-plus degree day. At $10 per entrant, that amounted to $1200 going to St. Francis CARE, which shelter president Diane Daugherty said will really make a difference. 

“We’re really not having too many adoptions, so this is a nice shot in the arm for us because $1200 is a lot of money,” she said.

Returns are up, and adoptions are down. Add staffing struggles into that mix, and things at the shelter become extra difficult. 

“It’s tough. We’re full and we’re short-staffed on top of that,” Daugherty said. “We’ve been trying to hire for a year now, so it makes it difficult. It’s okay, we’re going to survive and we’re going to be fine, but it’s a difficult time for all of us.”

And because adoptions are down, the sad reality is that shelters like St. Francis CARE cannot accept every animal. 

“When we have to turn them down, we know probably what’s going to happen,” Daugherty said. “That breaks all of our hearts because none of us are in this for the money, you know, we’re all volunteers, and we just are in it to save animals, and so nobody likes to say, ‘No, we can’t help you.’” 

But anything helps, and fundraisers like Dog Day at the Pool go a long way towards helping the shelter accomplish its mission of helping as many animals as possible.

“What a way to provide something cool to the dogs but then also give back to the dogs that are still in the shelter,” Carbondale Park District Superintendent of Recreation Niki Hoesman said. “My dog was a shelter pup, so any chance I can get to do something good for dogs, I will.” 

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