Bark in the Park set to return!

Four-legged fundraisers will be wagging their tails faster than ever as a popular money-maker returns in person for the first time in two years.

Hundreds of dogs are expected to descend on South Park, Darlington, on Sunday, April 24, for St Teresa’s Hospice’s annual Bark in the Park event.

COVID stopped the previous two from being held in person and they were replaced by virtual events, where dogs and their owners completed their own walk, in their own time.

The 5th sponsored dog walk since it started in 2016, entries are now open for the 2022 Bark in the Park, which is expected to raise £10,000.

Predicted to attract up to 400 dogs, this will take the total number of pets that have walked since 2016 to more than 2,000.

St Teresa’s Hospice Fundraising & Marketing Manager John Paul Stabler said: “Bark in the Park is one of our favourite events and we are thrilled to be able to organise it again in person. Pet owners have supported us brilliantly well during the pandemic but we will be delighted to meet up once again in South Park.”

James Agar, a Sales Assistant at North Road Jollyes, which is a principal sponsor of the event, said: “Bark in the Park is a great day out for both pets and their owners and by raising money for St Teresa’s Hospice does a lot of good for a very worthwhile cause. We are all looking forward to getting back out there.”

Online registration is at www.darlingtonhospice.org.uk/bark-in-the-park and dogs registered by April 19 will be guaranteed a Hospice bandana, a goody bag from the pet superstore Jollyes, and a rosette at the finish line.

Owners get to take part for free but dogs’ entry fee is £7 in advance with a suggested sponsorship target of £15 per pet.

On the day there will be various stalls and a dog agility display, with a host of prizes up for grabs in a tombola and competitions for animals. South Park Café will be open and serving food and drinks.

The walk is open to all ages and is on hard-standing ground making it wheelchair-friendly.

Entrants should check the latest Covid-19 guidelines before attending and observe any safety precautions.

Anyone unable to attend on the day is being offered a virtual Bark in the Park option whereby people can choose a route and complete the walk at a time that suits them. The same entry fee applies and dogs will get a bandana and rosette, but no goody bag.

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