People and their pooches enjoy a dip during a fundraiser for the Humane Society of Ocean City. By Maddy VitaleZoey Hazel, a hound-boxer mix, bound, splashed and played in the ocean at the Fifth Street beach in Ocean City on Sunday afternoon.And no one chased her away, nor was anyone scolded for letting their leashed dogs on the beach.In fact, Zoey, whose owners, Kathy and Frank Hazel, of Delaware County, Pa., were close by, took in the sights and sounds and became acquainted with some other dogs.The 5-year-old dog, who was a rescue from a Pennsylvania shelter, was leashed.Rescue dog, Zoey, gets some love from her owners, Kathy and Frank Hazel, of Delaware County, Pa.Zoey was joined by more than 30 other dogs who frolicked and played, and even attempted to dig holes in the sand, while their owners watched, chatted and laughed.It was all for a good cause, too.The Humane Society of Ocean City hosted a “Doggie Dip” and “Bathe to Save” fundraiser Sunday afternoon at the Fifth Street and Sixth Street beaches and a designated area of the Boardwalk.For a donation of $20 per dog, residents and their pooches got to take “the plunge” into the ocean and afterward, rather than hopping into cars all sandy and wet, dogs got squeaky clean with baths, courtesy of Anthony Amos and his family, from Australia.The Amos family traveled throughout the United States for their “Bathe to Save” tour. They also attended the June 2018 “Barks on the Bay” HSOC fundraiser.A line of dogs await baths.“This is our first time going to an HSOC fundraiser. It is such a fun day to have the opportunity to take Zoey to the beach and in the water like this for a good cause too,” Kathy Hazel noted, as she and her husband waited in line for Zoey to get bathed.“I am a huge proponent for adoption,” Kathy Hazel said. “There are so many animals who need good homes.”Ocean City’s Mr. Mature America 2019 Jack Merritt, of West Grove, Pa., attended the fundraiser, along with Miss Ocean City Megan Keenan, Junior Miss Julia Wilson and Little Miss Stevie Wright.Merritt and his wife, Julia Altman, had a special family member with them – their chihuahua Watson.The couple knows a bit about rescues. They have a rescue farm and to date, have saved about 2,500 animals.They said they were happy to see dogs on the beach – even if it was just for one day – to benefit the HSOC.Ocean City resident Aimee Schultz is with her soft-coated Wheaten terrier, Finn.Aimee Schultz and her daughter, Shannon, took their dog, Finn, a soft-coated Wheaten terrier, for a romp in the ocean.“It is a very dog-friendly town,” said Schultz, an Ocean City resident. “We love the beach and it is nice to be able to share it for one day. It is also a great meet-and-greet for the dogs and a nice way to start off the summer.”Tricia Ciliberto, of Upper Township, and her husband, Greg, brought their dogs Holly and Buddy along for a dip.Tricia is a member of the shelter’s board and said she was so pleased that this fundraiser was possible.“I love it. I think it is a great cause and a fantastic event,” she said.Humane Society of Ocean City Director of Operations Phil Bellucci stands next to a board with photos of adoptable dogs at the shelter.Phil Bellucci, director of shelter operations, said the new event is designed to not only raise money for the shelter, but also to spread awareness about the plight of unwanted animals.“This is a new event. The idea of the event is to give exposure,” Bellucci said. “People don’t know what we do or even where we are. We are a full-service clinic. We have animals for adoption, but we also provide veterinary services.”Currently there are 85 cats available for adoption and seven dogs.“If you adopt from us, we think of you as family,” Bellucci added.The Humane Society of Ocean City is located at 1 Shelter Road. For more information visit www.hsocnj.org Mr. Mature America 2019 Jack Merritt, of West Grove, Pa., with his wife, Julia Altman, and their dog, Watson.