Manhattan dogs make a splash during PetPOOLooza event

Dogs cool off on the final day of swim season at City Park Waterpark located in Manhattan. City Park hosted the PetPOOLooza on Aug. 21, 2021. (Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly attributed the PetPOOLooza event to the Riley County Humane Society. The article has since been corrected to the T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter. The Collegian regrets this error.

The dog days of summer officially ended for the City Park Waterpark with the annual PetPOOLooza.

The Manhattan Parks and Recreation Aquatics hosted the event on Aug. 21 to promote the T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter and give Manhattan’s furry friends a fun day at the waterpark.

“We are promoting awareness of a lot of the homeless animals, and trying to get people to volunteer or adopt,” Sebrina Enos, a shelter volunteer, said.

The event was designed to encourage community involvement with the local pet shelter and give sheltered dogs the opportunity to socialize with other dogs, Shay Torres, a Manhattan veterinarian technician, said.

(Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)
(Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

“It’s hard when a dog comes in [the veterinary] and is scared of everything because they are not socialized,” Torres said.

Some members of the society, like Manhattan resident Dusty Thomas, brought their adopted dogs to enjoy the event.

“It is a wonderful addition to close out the year,” Thomas said. “We’ve been doing it going on a couple of years now, and it is just a wonderful little way to get the dogs [Kit-Kat and Snickers] out and involved together.”

Kaitlyn Gebhardt, shelter event coordinator and volunteer, said event donations go to the society’s funds to update buildings and provide dog food, medications and toys.

“Since the shelter is owned by the city’s Parks and Recreation department, we put on events like this to have things to do for the public,” Gebhardt said. “To promote our volunteer program and the different animals we have here for adoption and just promote what we do for the city of Manhattan.”