Aquatic Center Goes To The Dogs

Thursday, September 8, 2016, 4:20 pm
Heather Paris

Photo Credit: MK Czerwiec 

The East Lansing Family Aquatic Center (ELFAC) is holding their first-ever Dog Swim to close out the summer season. On Saturday, September 10, the ELFAC at 6400 Abbot Road will be open 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for owners and their furry friends.

“A couple of the staff that are dog owners brought the idea to me and did all the research,” said Jim Jennings, East Lansing’s Aquatics/Athletics Coordinator. The event will be like those held at local pools nationwide at the end of the season. Community members and their canine companions are welcome to bring a favorite ball or toy and dogs can even go off the diving board if they choose to, according to Jennings. During this first-ever, strictly-canine event, humans will not be allowed to swim or be in the water.

There are other guidelines that have to be followed in order to participate. There is a waiver that is required to be read and signed in order to participate. Copies of the waiver will be available at the facility for attendees to sign on the day of the event.

Each dog is required to be accompanied by a handler that is over 18 years old.

  • Each handler is allowed only one dog.
  • All canines must be licensed.
  • Dogs younger than four months old are not permitted to take part in the event due to vaccination and licensing requirements. Dogs in heat may not participate.
  • The City of East Lansing is not responsible for injuries to visiting dogs, their owners or others participating in this event.


The cost to participate is $6 for East Lansing residents and $10 for non-residents. The fee applies to each dog attending, but not their human. No passes will be accepted. Jennings said one question he hadn’t anticipated is whether people could come to watch. “Anyone is welcome to come and watch with no fee. Entrance fees are per dog only.”

As of Thursday morning, there were 143 people planning to attend according to Facebook, but the capacity of the ELFAC is not a concern at this time. “Some dogs may never go into the water,” said Jennings, as there are other areas to explore in the center. If the event attracts at least 50 attendees, Jennings will consider it a success.

For more details, please see the ELFAC’s Facebook page or call (517) 410-8493. The event may happen annually if all goes well. 


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