Dog owners and their pets have a welly good time at annual event

Dogs and their walkers at the start line
Picture: Habibur Rahman

Dogs and their walkers at the start line Picture: Habibur Rahman

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DOGS of all breeds and sizes enjoyed a muddy romp in the park to raise cash for a good cause.

The fifth annual Woofs and Wellies sponsored dog walk took place yesterday in Stansted Park, Rowlands Castle.

Hundreds of owners brought their beloved pooches along to participate in the new 6k route in aid of The Rowans Hospice, a hospice in Purbrook that offers specialist palliative care to those with life-limiting illnesses. There was also a 3k route on offer.

Gemma Carden, community and events fundraiser at The Rowans Hospice, said about 300 dogs took part.

She said: ‘It was a little bit chilly, and muddy, but all the dogs really enjoyed it.’

Many of the walkers had personal stories of support received from the Rowans Hospice. Julie Day, from Gosport, was walking her chihuahua George and a group of friends and family in memory of her husband Dan, who died at The Rowans Hospice aged 32, three years ago.

Julie, who was also with her five-year-old son Alfie, said: ‘The Rowans Hospice is amazing. They couldn’t have done more for me. They set up a bed for me and pushed them together so we could sleep close and made sure I was fed during Dan’s last two weeks. I practically lived there.

‘They were truly amazing.’

Peter Wilmshurst, from Gosport, was one of Dan’s friends, and he was walking with Bruce, his four-year-old labrador.

Peter, 32, said: ‘The work of The Rowans Hospice was amazing. The care Dan received was incredible.’

The walk was open to all dogs for a £5 registration fee and a sponsorship target of £25.

Last year the event raised £11,600, and with this year’s total yet to be added up there are hopes to exceed it.

Amanda Clapman, director of fundraising, said: ‘All of these events are really vital to keep the services running across Portsmouth and south-east Hampshire, so thank you to everyone who took part.’

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