Bark in the Park dog walk at Temple Newsam to raise cash for hospice
HUNDREDS of dogs and their owners enjoyed a stroll in the grounds of Temple Newsam while raising cash for a Leeds hospice.
More than 400 dogs of all shapes and sizes were signed up to take part in the annual sponsored Bark in the Park fundraiser for St Gemma's Hospice this morning (Sun Feb 24). Organisers hope this year's Bark in the Park will at least equal the £16,000 raised at last year's event. Dog walker Nicola Thornes of Woodlesford said she wanted to thank St Gemma's for the "fabulous" care her late mother Hazel Leggett, 80, received at the hospice three years ago. Miss Thornes said her mother, who was suffering from cancer, spent two weeks at the hospice shortly before she died at home. Miss Thornes said: "They are fabulous, we wouldn't have been able to get through it without them. Miss Thornes and her partner David Smalley, 55, took part in Bark in the Park with their four-year-old German shepherd Kaiser; three-year-old cockerdor Roxy (a cocker spaniel and labrador cross) and Kaiser and Roxy's four-month-old puppy called Ghost. Miss Thornes said: "It's a great way for people to socialise with their dogs while helping a good cause." Nicky Busby, 42, took part in the walk with her two-year-old Jack Russell called Bella. St Gemma's cared for Miss Busby's grandmother Elsie Busby, who died at the hospice aged 96 in 2016. Miss Busby, who works as a librarian at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Halton Moor, said: "The end of life care she received was fantastic. I want to give something back so I try and get involved in the events St Gemma's organise." Bar manager Gemma Westwood, 37, of Killingbeck, walked her seven-month-old cavachon (King Charles spaniel and bichon frise cross) puppy called Coco Chanel. She said: "It was great fun and a good day out." St Gemma's Hospice fundraiser Lucy Williams said: "It was a really fun day and it was great to see so many people with dogs coming out to support their local hospice on our sponsored dog walk."