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Pets at Home fundraising proves a howling success

Pictured above: Mel, Penny and theChristmas mascot, Hero

It may have been more of a mammoth than a dog-sized task, but Pets at Home has announced it has raised a huge £124,000 for Dogs for the Disabled throughout 2002.

The stores raised funds through a variety of fun activities in stores and selling the charity's mascot, 'Hero' the cuddly toy dog. The six top fundraising stores were Andover, Aintree, Durham, Norwich (Sprowston Retail Park), Redhill and Swansea.

The money raised by Pets at Home will now be used to help 10 partnerships created by the charity. Called 'Team Pets at Home', the project ranges from pups like Riley, a 17 week old puppy, to Venny who has been with his owner Marie for four years. The funds will help not only with training costs for the dogs, but also with the back-up and aftercare which every partnership created by the charity receives.

Michelle Begley, head of marketing at Pets at Home, said: "As a company focused on helping people and pets get the most out of their relationship this is a fantastic charity for Pets at Home to support. We worked really hard to raise this money, and to know it will be put to direct use ensuring great partnerships for 10 dogs and their owners, is a great reward."

Caroline Taylor, publicity and fundraising manager for Dogs for the Disabled, said: "The support Pets at Home continues to give us is fantastic. It takes huge commitment and cost to train dogs to the level they need to reach before we can partner them with a suitable owner. But it's worth every penny when you see a partnership leave our training centre in Banbury. Pets at Home has not only raised an enormous amount of money for us, but they have also helped us publicise the charity with displays in store, educational and fundraising activities with customers - and not forgetting little Hero!"

Pets at Home is currently developing plans to support the charity in a new appeal next year and hopes to raise even more money to help Dogs for the Disabled continue its vital work.