SUPPORTERS and friends of Whitehall Dog Rescue, on two feet and on four, turned out for a winter wonderland walkies in the run up to Christmas.
People brought their own dogs, or borrowed one still looking for an owner, and set off on a sponsored walk round East Ardsley before tucking into a hot turkey buffet.
Together they raised around £2,000 for the charity that looks after and rehomes abandoned and neglected dogs but they also collected enough to distribute around Leeds to provide a Christmas treat to dogs that might otherwise get nothing.
Rescue centre worker Sarah Fretwell said: “We had a lovely day and raised approximately £2,000, although a lot of the sponsor money us still due in.
“We also had the giving tree which people filled a shoe box with treats a blanket, coat and toys. We were so touched by how many people brought these boxes and the wonderful things they had put in them.
One lass knitted dozens of beautiful wool blankets.”
A third of the donated goods was kept at the centre for their residents and a third was donated to the Fleet Lane Dog Compound.
Sarah said: “The council won’t pay much money for the stray dog pound and so the conditions are pretty basic, with no heating, basic amounts of food which is only cheap, dried food and no walks.
“Many dogs will go to their deaths after spending the mandatory seven days in the pound.
“Fleet Lane are the best of all the pounds, they do try to find rescue spaces for the dogs, but the rescues are full to brimming with the situation only set to worsen over the festive season.
“Our aim is to give every dog in the Fleet Lane dog compound a blanket, a coat a tin of meat and a bag of treats this Christmas.
“We know this won’t find them a rescue place but we just don’t have room for anymore and we hope this will make life a bit more bearable for them.”
The final third was sent to St George’s Crypt in Leeds to give a bit of a treat to dogs owned by homeless people.
Their owners were not forgotten, either, and were also sent a hamper of Christmas goodies.
Sarah added: “We have been so touched by the support we received at the walk.
“The rain stayed away but we had a few challenges with the wind before people arrived, with gazebos blowing down and power cuts, but our volunteers were troopers and we muddled through.
“We have also hopefully rehomed a dog through the walk: Sydney a little whippet who was abandoned on the streets.
“That’s subject to home check but the lady is a genuine, lovely person and we are confident he will be in a home for Christmas.”