A NEW pet store has taken the lead by becoming the main sponsor of an event to get tails wagging.

Jollyes pet superstore in North Road, Darlington, is backing St Teresa’s Hospice’s Bark in the Park spring fundraiser.

Last year’s event attracted 442 dogs and their owners and raised more than £11,000 for the much-loved hospice, which serves the people of Darlington, South Durham and North Yorkshire.

This year Bark in the Park will be staged in South Park, Darlington, on April 15, attracting hundreds of dog owners for a one mile walk and a host of pet paraphernalia stalls.

South Durham Dog Agility Club has agreed to stage a demonstration of canine skills and Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital is also backing the event.

For Jollyes manager Andy McDonald the sponsorship provides an opportunity to support the hospice which helped his mother.

“I have first-hand experience of the fantastic work the hospice does for patients and their families as they looked after my mam,” he said.

“It is so important to have such a brilliant support network like this in the community and last year we were so impressed with the Bark in the Park event that we simply had to get involved.”

St Teresa’s Hospice chief executive Jane Bradshaw said: “Events like these are so important for the hospice and I am delighted that Jollyes enjoyed last year so much that they wanted to get involved.

“People who come to the event not only have a fabulous time, they also learn about the work of the hospice and its many inpatient, day and outreach services.”

Dogs registered by 12 noon on Friday, April 13, will receive a rosette and goody bag on completion of the walk, in return for an entry fee of just £5 per dog.

Registration for Bark in the Park is open now at www.support.darlingtonhospice.org.uk/pages/bark-in-the-park

and more information can be found online.