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Pit Bull Plunge helps pets in Warwick

Warwick City Park Beach was packed with people and pups for the Pit Bull Plunge on New Year's Day.

Freezing," Jen Caya said. "I'm so cold."

"Actually it was nice in the water," Kerri Lopes said. "It's when you got out, like 'Okay, I think I want to go back."

The event is in its fourth year, organized by the Little Rhodie Bully Breed Club.

This year, more than 75 people showed up, raising more than $1,000 for training and enrichment programs.

"[It's] about the plight of these pit bulls and what these dogs go through every day of their lives," Susan Parker, the club's president, said.

Parker said she and others want to convince people to stop buying from breeders and adopt dogs instead.

One of the dogs who has been adopted is Marco, a pit bull who is now four years old and in a wheelchair.

Marco was hit by a car when he was a puppy and his back legs cannot support him.

"He goes to nursing homes and hospitals and does visits as well," Lopes, Marco's owner, said.

Organizers also gave awards to people involved in animal shelter work, including NBC 10's Mario Hilario and Molly O'Brien.

O'Brien participated in the plunge for the second year.

"This was a lot colder than last year," O'Brien said. "I can't feel my fingers or my toes, but it was definitely an amazing feeling and we had to run really far out."

Her advice for anyone considering an event like this is simply to take the plunge.

"Just come and run and go," O'Brien said. "Just run and then run back out fast."

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