Wrexham Big Walkies PosterDog owners across North Wales have been invited to a free dog-walking event to raise awareness for the sad plight many animals face over the festive period.

The Christmas ‘Big Walkies’ event  - organised by the RSPCA’s Wrexham District & Deeside Branch – takes place at Wepre Park in Connah’s Quay on Sunday (17 December), with free registration from 10.30am, and the walk getting underway half-an-hour later.

Registration all takes place on the morning of the event, and participants are urged to meet at Wepre Park’s main entrance to the park, next to the car park. The walk is expected to last approximately 35 minutes.

Winters months are “exceptionally busy” for the RSPCA. In 2016 – across Wales as a whole – 141 incidents were reported to the charity on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day alone.

In Wrexham, in November 2016, six guinea pigs were found dumped in Rhosddu Road, a tabby and white cat had to be put to sleep after being shot by a pellet gun in the Minera area of the town, and witnesses were sought for a suspected dog beating in Hightown.

RSPCA’s Wrexham & Deeside Branch are eager to raise awareness of the difficult period the winter months can be for animals, and promote the RSPCA’s ‘Kindness at Christmas’ campaign, being run across England and Wales.

The event will also offer the opportunity for the local community to learn more about the work of the RSPCA’s Wrexham & Deeside Branch – and discuss potential volunteering opportunities.

Participation in the event is completely free – and all doing so will receive a free ‘goodie bag’ at the finish line, while complimentary glasses of mulled wine will also be available.

The event is being organised by Volunteer and Events Officer Dylan Evans, who can be reached on 07713 092045 or dylan@rspca-wrexhamdeeside.org.uk – and will see dogs and owners enjoy the “stunning surroundings” of Wepre Park.

Mr Evans, of the Wrexham & Deeside Branch, said: “We’re so excited for this Christmas Big Walkies event on Sunday – which is an amazing opportunity to celebrate the festive season with dogs and other loved ones at a community event.

“This is a completely free event, so we’re urging dog lovers across North Wales to come over to Wepre Park and strut their stuff with many other local people and pooches.

“Wepre Park is a brilliant venue for this event, with stunning surroundings. With a goody bag for participants, and complimentary mulled wine, this is a paw-fect way to celebrate the festive season with four-legged friends and other loved ones.

“Sadly, we know the festive period can be exceptionally busy for the RSPCA – and the Wrexham & Deeside Branch wants to support the RSPCA as a whole, by raising awareness of the Kindness at Christmas campaign, reminding us all that this happy time of year can be very challenging for animals.”

Secretary of Friends of Wepre Park, Ralph Rowlands said: “Friends of Wepre Park are happy to welcome all responsible dog owners and walkers to enjoy our wonderful surroundings and hope the event may make more people with dogs aware of Wepre Park’s availability to all.”

RSPCA’s Wrexham & Deeside Branch is grateful to Tesco and Pets at Home, who have both donated items towards the successful running of the event.