Hartlepool United mascot H’Angus swapped football for canine furry friends when he spent the day at a dog kennels.
He joined staff and volunteers at the Stray Aid centre, which takes in animals picked up off the streets of Hartlepool, for a day of cleaning, dog walking and answering the phone.
H’Angus is also backing the charity’s latest campaign, The Stray Aid Forever Appeal, to raise £250,000 to buy and redevelop the original boarding kennels and turn them into the Stray Aid Animal Welfare Centre.
This will complement the charity’s existing centre at Coxhoe and allow it to expand and modernise the rescue shelter, which takes up to 1,500 stray and abandoned dogs each year, including from Hartlepool Borough Council.
Lee Henderson, the events co-ordinator for the charity, said: “We want to let people know about the kennels and what we do, because a lot of people haven’t heard of us.”
Stray Aid, which also has charity shops in Easington and Seaham, takes strays picked up by the dog wardens in Hartlepool, County Durham and further afield.
The goal of Stray Aid, founded in 2006 by vet Sue Bielby and her husband, John, is to rehome all unwanted dogs and not to put healthy pets to sleep.
Lee said: “H’Angus became involved with the charity when he adopted his dog from us a few weeks ago and said he wanted to do whatever he could to help.”
On Saturday, February 13, H’Angus will be joining Stray Aid volunteers and some of the dogs when they visit Pets at Home in Hartlepool to spend the morning meeting and greeting customers, as well as fund-raising.
They will also pick up a cheque raised by Pets at Home staff and customers.
On the afternoon they will be walking from the shop to Hartlepool United’s Victoria Park so H’Angus can see his fans at the match.
Anyone who would like to find out more about the work of Stray Aid, or who are interested in adopting a four-legged friend, can visit the website at www.strayaid.org.uk or to make a donation to The Stray Aid Forever Appeal visit www.justgiving.com/StrayAid-Charity3