THE Ayres Nature Reserve was once again host for Team Greyhound’s annual fundraising Dog Lovers’ Walk and Get-Together, an important event in the organisation’s efforts to rescue and re-home vulnerable dogs.
The four-mile sponsored walk was the fourth held in the area – the only National Nature Reserve in the island – and helped raise more than £1,300 in donations and sales from the stalls.
Team Greyhound’s Sally McMullen explained that local outfit formed in response to alarming reported figures of greyhounds left on the scrapheap after short racing careers.
They raise money for Manx greyhound rescue charity Homesafe, aiding their work to rehabiltiate and re-home unwanted greyhounds.
Homesafe work to find island residents that may be able to offer homes to some of the 10,000 dogs that retire from racing each year across the British Isles.
Mainly bred in Ireland, as many as 5,000 racers disappear each year.
Sally said: ‘It was wonderful to see so many people and dogs taking part. We met lots of greyhounds who have been lucky enough to find homes in the island.
‘We chose the Ayres because it is a delightful place to walk and enjoy the nature and views between the visitors’ centre at Ballaghennie and the Point of Ayre lighthouse. It is a wide open space, with the sea to one side and a choice of many pathways through the heather, with flat walking, which is open to the public and where dogs and owners are welcome.’
Sally added:‘We would like to thank everyone who came, and the following people and organisations for their generosity and invaluable assistance: The Pet Stop in Douglas; Purrfect Pets in Onchan; Pets at Home; Rover Ritz; Shoprite; Marks and Spencer; Royal Bank of Scotland; The Ayres Warden and last, but not least, Kay, Roy and Keith for helping with the refreshments by the lighthouse.’
There were prizes for the walkers who raised the most money, who will win a portrait of their pet by artist Meriel Lloyd. Winners will soon be notified.