On Sept. 11, Grove City's Big Splash will welcome patronage of the canine variety.

On Sept. 11, Grove City's Big Splash will welcome patronage of the canine variety.

The city's fourth annual Soggy Dog Swim will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Big Splash pool, 2831 Southwest Blvd. The Grove City Parks and Recreation Department stages the event. Proceeds will go to local animal welfare organization Colony Cats and Dogs, which has a cat adoption center at 2740 Festival Lane in Dublin.

Last year, nearly $1,400 was raised, said Big Splash recreation coordinator Tim Baker. About 300 dogs attended.

The cost is $3 per dog, and humans are admitted for free. Every dog must be monitored by its own adult or capable child. "Everybody watches their dogs pretty closely," Baker said. To participate, dogs must be sociable with people and other dogs, licensed, current on vaccinations, and spayed or neutered. Baker advises against bringing sick animals.

Lifeguards will be on duty and the pool will be cleaned afterward. A snow fence will be erected around the area to prevent any dogs from escaping, Baker said. No leashes are allowed on the dogs while they are in the water. At least two breaks will occur during the event, during which the pool is cleared and drinking water is provided for the dogs.

The back of the park is for bigger dogs and the front for smaller dogs, though Baker said the areas are "lightly reserved." The middle area has a mix of dogs of all sizes. "Most of the dogs start forming their own little packs and start running around together," he said. A limited supply of tennis balls and flying discs will be available, and Baker suggests people also bring their own.

Colony for Cats and Dogs will offer hot dogs and other cookout items for humans, the proceeds of which also will support animal rescue.

Prizes will be awarded for largest and smallest dog, the dog that creates the biggest splash, and the dog that retrieves something the fastest, Baker said. Dog owners will receive gift bags with beach and pool items.

Silent auction items will include restaurant gift cards and gift baskets with cat and dog products, said Colony Cats and Dogs executive director Mona McKinniss. At least four or five dogs up for adoption will attend.

Funds raised from the event will be used mainly for spaying and neutering cats and emergency veterinarian care, McKinniss said. Colony is a volunteer organization, and the money "all goes to the animals," she said.

Watching the dogs let loose and have fun in the pool is the best part of the Big Splash event, McKinniss said.

"You just can't help but laugh," she said.