Anyone for walkies?

Al Winton pictured at the event.
Al Winton pictured at the event.

DOG lovers are being urged to take part in a sponsored walk and help raise vital funds for guide dogs for the blind.

The Hartlepool and Seaton Carew branch of Guide Dogs for the Blind has organised the family fun day and sponsored dog walk for Sunday, September 1, at Coronation Drive, in Hartlepool, from 10am to 4.30pm.

There will be a fun fair for children, meerkats, birds of prey, vintage cars, various dog shows and competitions, pet stalls, tombola, face painting, refreshments and a sensory tunnel.

People will also be able to enjoy the “guide dog experience,” which will see them blindfolded and led by one of the guide dogs.

Free dog chipping will also be available.

Organiser Al Winton, 69, who has a guide dog called Gypsy, said: “There are 350 visually impaired people living in Hartlepool and there are 13 guide dogs.

“A guide dog is not suitable for everybody, but more are needed and they help with people’s independence and mobility, I am proof of that.

“All of the money raised will be spent in the local area.”

Al said he has always had impaired vision, but has been totally blind for the past eight years and he relies on Gypsy.

Last year’s inaugural event helped raise £2,367 for Guide Dogs for the Blind and organisers are hoping to better that total this year.

All breeds of dogs are welcome and registration is open from 12.45pm ahead of the walk at 1pm. There is off road parking available.

For more information about the rules of the sponsored dog walk, call (01429) 267777.