DOZENS of dog walkers are hoping to give a rare breed a new leash of life.
Scores of Dogue de Bordeaux owners will descend upon Chester-le-Street’s Riverside Park this month to raise money for the breed’s welfare charity.
Dogue de Bordeaux Welfare cares for homeless dogs, and relies on donations to feed and provide medical care, as well as finding foster homes.
Owner and regional fund-raiser for the organisation, Nicola Scott, said: “These dogs tend to have quite a lot wrong with them, so the charity’s vets bills can be £3,000 to £4,000 per month.
“People can struggle to care for them so they become homeless – they cost between £50-£60 a month to feed.
“The charity finds foster homes for them and pays for all care such as vaccinations and neutering.
“I’m hoping to raise about £1,000 from the walk for the charity, but I would like to raise more than that.”
Dogue de Bordeaux are French Mastiffs, best known from the film Turner and Hooch.
Nicola, 33, who owns two-year-old female Dogue Freya, said they are more common in the North East than people think.
“I have about 20 dogs and owners signed up already,” she said.
“I’m hoping to have a lot more than that involved by the time the walk comes round.
“All other types of dog are welcome too.
“There will be collection buckets for donations on the day, and a raffle with prizes for dogs and people, and a cake sale for dogs and people too.
“I’m getting quite good at making cakes for dogs.”
Dogue de Bordeaux Welfare, the only charity devoted to the breed recognised by the Kennel Club, has been holding the annual walk for about three years.
Nicola is hoping this walk for the North East region, on Sunday, September 22, will be the biggest yet.
“I organised an unofficial walk in July that did well.
“But the charity is trying to get as many regions around the country involved as possible, and we want ours to be the biggest and the best. We raised £500 from our last walk but we want to smash that this time.”
For more details and to register, visit the Facebook page Freya Dogue.