Marijke de Vries, Keyana Simone, and Gabriela Kelly
  • Marijke de Vries, Keyana Simone, and Gabriela Kelly
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Five four-person teams at the Barking Lot bathed 250 dogs in an hour during an August 11 “Dog Wash-a-thon” that raised more than $4500 in pledges for the nonprofit rescue organization.

The fundraiser "shattered" the shelter's 2012 world record of "Most Dogs Bathed in One Hour," said Keyana Simone, the volunteer who organized the event.

Record Setter, an online world-record archiving website, recognized the previous record of 118 dogs washed by four three-person teams last August. In an interview after the wash-a-thon, Simone credited the new total to the increased number of teams and "more people for each team."

Simone said she began volunteering at the Barking Lot about a year and a half ago. After completing orientation, she was asked if she was willing to wash dogs. "I thought I would do 2 or 3; I did 14 in one day. I became known as the 'dog washer.’ I joked that I might set a world record as a dog washer."

Simone said that washing a dog for a play date usually takes at least five to ten minutes. At this year's wash-a-thon, participating canines included dogs living at the facility, volunteers' dogs, and canines brought in by others.

In addition to trying to break the record, teams competed for the highest point total. Point values ranged from 1 for a dog like a chihuahua to 4 for Bowie, a large, fluffy Newfoundland/golden retriever mix.

Humans wore team T-shirts and eye-black and waited with their mascots for the "starting gun”: The Baha Men's "Who Let The Dogs Out?"

Team members lifted Junebug into a tub that sat on a table. While Marijke de Vries, Gabriela Kelly, and Simone washed Junebug, Ushara McDonald waited with a towel and Savannah O'Toole retrieved the next dog.

The team lost time when Han Solo, a boxer mix, stood and squirmed. The tub turned sideways, and the trio held the dog as tub and table toppled. The table legs fell off, and the team washed subsequent dogs in the ground-level tub.

As the wash-a-thon continued, Simone filled in as needed. Kelly gave them treats. De Vries had hose duty, and her eye-black seemed to evaporate. O'Toole said her eye-black wore off in "30 seconds. Dogs were giving me kisses."

When the hour ended, Team Junebug had washed 43 dogs. Two teams sponsored by Peakfinders Training each washed 60 dogs: captain Rik Wlodarczyk's Team Indigo and captain Kelly Anderson's Team Spike. Team Spike claimed first place with 119 points, followed by Team Junebug with 115 points.

"We only lost by a Bowie [4 points]," said Simone.

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