Rowlands Castle dog trainer runs competition to raise money for rescue homes in the region
A DOG trainer is inviting children and those isolated in the coronavirus pandemic to put pen to paper and help rescue dogs.
Carol Ashworth who runs The Walkabout Way in Rowlands Castle is launching a writing competition where the prize is a hand-drawn portrait of their rescue dog to help raise funds for shelters across Hampshire.
The 62-year-old has trained more than 12,000 dogs over 30 years and along with her artist husband Stuart, 70, she came up with an idea of a writing competition.
To take part, people can write 500 words about their favourite rescue dog, donate £5 to the JustGiving page and send the story to the designated email address.
All the money raised will be divided between two rescues, Give a Dog a Home and Phoenix Rehoming based in Havant.
People can choose which rescue to support, and each rescue has a category for children under 16 and adults.
Carol said: ‘It’s such an uncertain time for everyone and one of the benefits of having a dog is the happiness they bring. But the rescues are struggling as fundraising events have been cancelled. With people losing jobs and incomes being reduced, it’s inevitable that more dogs will be handed in to rescues.
‘But with people being told to stay at home, the chances of people adopting them are slim. I wanted to do something to help.’
Lynne Spencer from Give a Dog a Home said: ‘We are delighted to work with The Walkabout Way on this fun and educational activity for everyone who is at home with their rescue dogs. All over the world there are disadvantaged dogs who will be suffering, not from the virus directly but if shelter carers are affected and from lack of food.’
A spokesperson from Phoenix Rehoming said: ‘This is a great idea to get everyone writing and the money raised will help us to continue to support our rescue dogs throughout the area.’
Judges Lucy Campbell from Hoe Cross Dog Field in Hambledon, Steve Morrison from Homefield dogs and blogger Rachel Spencer from www.thepawpost.co.uk will pick their favourite from each of the four categories and winners will be announced on April 23.