Need ideas on how to fund raise money for your group? Try a pet wash! This is something I tried at church, but it could be applied to any group. Here’s what you’ll need:
- One or two child-sized swimming pools, either inflatable or plastic. I used a $3 inflatable one (initially, I was worried that it might get punctured by a tooth or toenail, but it worked great, and since it was inflatable it’ll be much easier to store for next year). We also had a parent bring a couple of tin washtubs that we used for small dogs. The bottom line is that you’ll need something the dogs can stand in while you wash them, something that can be dumped out between washes. I set up right next to a drain, so it was easy to dump out the used wash water.
- Pet shampoo. I bought a couple of bottles of it, and a few of the youth brought some, so we had plenty.
- Towels and blow driers. Each kid was asked to bring a junk towel and/or a blow drier. We ended up with about 20 towels and three blow driers, which was perfect.
- Brushes. We used a scrub brush, and a couple of drying brushes. The kids with long-haired dogs at home brought them.
- A hose and some big cups the kids can use to wet the dog.
- An extra leash or two. We specified that each pet owner bring their dog on a leash (duh…), but had an extra, just in case. We ended up using the extra to tie up dogs who had been washed, but whose owners hadn’t picked them up yet. I didn’t want any dogs roaming around the yard free, in case any of them got aggressive.
- A drinking water bowl or two for the dogs. All the water made some of them thirsty (plus, it was a warm day), and we didn’t want them drinking the wash water!
- Optional: some dog treats as rewards.
- Extremely Optional: pet tooth gel (one of my Youth brought some of this and gave the dogs a “tooth-brushing.” It was a nice touch).
I suggest finding a fenced-in area, in case a dog gets away. We used our church playground.
Initially, I was going to make it by-appointment, (and I had 15 or so sign up), but the majority of our business ended up being walk-in, mostly church members who just showed up with their dogs.
We did it from 10-2 on a Saturday. In the four hours, we were able to raise $610 (though a little of that was from church members who gave us extra, like a “tip”). I think the kids would’ve gotten tired of it if we’d gone any longer. As it was, we had a couple of lulls between walk-ins when I fed the kids some sandwiches and Gatorade.
We ended up forming two washing teams and two drying teams, and everybody rotated.
As the dogs were cleaned and dried, we tied them up some place where they couldn’t get dirty again, either a grassy area or in the fellowship hall (some dogs will roll in the dirt as soon as you wash them, if you give them a chance).
Here was our pricing breakdown:
Small dogs: $10
Medium dogs: $15
Large dogs: $20
Enormous dogs (over 100 lbs.): $25
Overall, it was a big success.