FOUR-LEGGED friends were out in force as dozens of dogs turned out for the Stubbington Ark Animal Shelter’s annual Wag Walk.
Organisers of the spring event invite people to bring along their pets and take part in a six-mile walk to raise money for the centre, in Ranvilles Lane, Fareham.
Yesterday around 30 dogs turned out in the sunshine to take part in the fundraiser.
Part of the fun was seeing who could complete the walk the fastest. Last year’s reigning champion, golden retriever Cassie, was back to make sure she kept her title.
Owner Julie Meiris, 43, of Portchester, said: ‘We took part in the Wag Walk last year and think it’s a fantastic way to raise money. nd last year we did the course in about four hours – that was with a break in the middle.
‘I’m a big animal lover and completely support what the Ark do.
‘I think it’s a fantastic place and they do great things for the animals. As a dog lover I support them too, it’s just a shame they end up in there.
‘People should give it more thought when they buy dogs – after all they aren’t just for Christmas.’
This year’s walk started at 10.30am. Walkers left the centre and went along Titchfield Road, carried on into Ranvilles Lane, before entering a field nearby.
Sheltered dogs such as saluki breed Eddie also took part in the event.
Kennel assistant Issy McKenzie was walking with Eddie.
She said: ‘Eddie came to us a few months ago from the Gosport area.
‘We’re still sorting out a few things with him, but once he’s healthy he will be ready for a new home.
‘He has been very excited to go on this walk.’
Each dog taking part receives a goody bag containing doggy treats.
The pooch that completes the course in the fastest time gets the Wag Walk Shield, which they keep for a year, and a doggy stocking.
The owner gets a dinner for two voucher for a local restaurant.
The Ark looks after a range of animals, including cats, dogs, rabbits, foxes, lizards and snakes.
In the past six years more than £30,000 has been raised by the Wag Walk.
This money is spent on buying food and resources for the animals in the centre.
Fundraising manager Vanessa Eden said: ‘I thought of the Wag Walk when I first joined the Ark to raise money for it. It’s fantastic to see the level of support we get each year.
‘This year we’ve got about 25 dogs taking part and we hope to raise about £3,000.
‘I’m grateful to those who take part and the donations we get. It’s also good exercise for the walkers and the dogs.’