GREENFIELD — With the sun beating down on his blue paw print float, Clancy the rescue dog was living his best life floating around the Greenfield public pool Saturday afternoon.
The wiry Shih Tzu mix was among 101 dogs who turned out for the annual pool fundraiser hosted by PAWS, or the Partners for Animal Welfare Society.
For the past 18 years, PAWS has invited the public to bring their pups to the pool in Riley Park, which is now known as the Kathy Dowling Aquatic Center.
“We had a wonderful turnout — about 153 people with 101 dogs,” said PAWS president Jason Taylor, who said over $4,100 was raised in all.
The charge to get in was $15 per person and dog, plus $3 per additional person or dog, with a maximum of $25 per family.
Shih Tzus and chihuahuas splashed around alongside bigger breeds like golden retrievers, huskies and labs, even a St. Bernard and dalmatian.
Clancy’s owner, Josephine Kaiser of Greenfield, was one of the many attendees who were anxious to give their dogs some fun in the sun.
On Saturday, she dutifully pushed Clancy around the pool on his doggy-themed float as he navigated the waters wearing a tiny pirate hat atop his furry head.
Kincaid adopted him from PAWS nine years ago, and has since showered lots of love on the senior lap dog, who is now an impressive 18 years old.
“He likes to lay in the sun and chill on his raft,” said Kincaid, who was headed to a second dog-friendly pool party later that day.
Sam Moore of Greenfield also brought her senior pet, a lady bulldog named Meathead, out to enjoy a day at the pool.
“Shen loves it when she can just stand in the water,” said Moore, as Meathead stood contentedly in the wading area of the pool, as sprinklers splashed other dogs nearby.
Meathead stood unbothered, soaking up the son, as her little brother Moose — an 18-month-old Newfoundland — scampered and splashed through the water.
This was the second year Moore and her husband, James, had brought their dogs to the pool.
“They love it, and it’s for a great cause,” she said.
Kaitlin Baker of Greenfield felt the same way, after enjoying her first PAWS pool event on Saturday.
The fundraiser seemed like a great way to give her blue heeler-husky mix, Princess, a chance to get acclimated to the water.
Living up to her name, the 65-pound pooch preferred to be carried around the pool rather than swim on her own.
“We’ve been here two hours and she seems to love it,” said Baker, who adopted Princess through a Facebook post after the dog was rescued from the side of the road in Indianapolis.
That post led Princess to her ‘furever’ home, which is what the PAWS nonprofit is all about.
Taylor said PAWS’ focus is threefold — rescue, adoption and spay/neuter services — focusing on cats, dogs, guinea pigs and rabbits.
The funds from Saturday’s fundraiser were earmarked for the nonprofit’s facilities account, which is growing with the hopes PAWS of acquiring its own building some day.
“Our ultimate goal is to build or purchase a building where we can house more animals,” said Taylor, whose nonprofit currently operates out of a strip mall at 1224 W. Main St. in Greenfield.
“Right now we’re all foster-based, which is a big challenge because we don’t have a lot of fosters so we can’t take in as many animals, and the shelters are just overwhelmed,” he said.
“That’s a big problem so we’re hopefully that by promoting and offering spay/neuter services we can help reduce the overall population,” said Taylor.
PAWS has been working to rescue, spay/neuter and adopt out animals since 2000.
On Sept. 16, the Greenfield VFW is sponsoring a benefit ride for the organization.
PAWS will also host its annual pet photos with Santa event later this year.
For more information on PAWS, its events and adoptable pets, visit PawsHancock.org.