HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — You can take the plunge this winter and help save the lives of homeless animals in the Midstate.

The Humane Society of Harrisburg Area will be hosting the Penguin Plunge on Sunday, Jan 1, 2023.

The plunge will take place on City Island at the Harrisburg Beach Club. Participants will be jumping into the icy cold Susquehanna River.

Check-in and registration for the plunge will start at 10 a.m. and go until 11:59 a.m. The plunge will begin at 12:00 p.m.

“The Plunge has become part of people’s New Year’s Day tradition, and each year we are excited that more people take part in the celebration and raise funds to support the homeless animals in our area,” said Amanda Brunish, Director of Marketing & Outreach for HSHA. 

There will be a post-party at the Harrisburg Beach Club following the plunge.


Each year the event features a “Plunge” dog as a representative of the shelter.  This year’s dog is Sunny, a pittie mix adopted in August 2021.  Sunny was in bad shape when she came to the shelter as a stray, weighing only 33 pounds.

“Luckily, she was brought to the right place,” said adopters Rich and Linda Sweger.  “She received the love and care she needed and, when she was ready for a home, we were happy to adopt her!  Today, Sunny is our happy girl and is excited to represent all the residents of HSHA still looking for a home at this year’s Penguin Plunge.”

Whether you are looking to take the plunge or join as a spectator, the Harrisburg Humane Society will be hosting activities at the Harrisburg Beach Club. There will be food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, music, raffles, games, and a costume contest.