Petworld's 2017 Furry 5k Woof Walk for Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland

Advertorial Petworld's 2017 Sponsored Dog Walk To Support Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland

Petworld's 2017 Furry 5k Woof Walk for Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland

Petworld is delighted to announce that their annual Furry 5K Walk is taking place at 10am on Sunday 23rd July in seven locations across Ireland including the Petworld Portlaoise store.

The Furry 5K is a 5km sponsored walk with all proceeds going to Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland (AADI). This amazing charity provides highly trained assistance dogs for children with autism and their families.

The Horkans Group, which includes Horkans Garden & Lifestyle Centres and Petworld selected Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland as their national nominated charity in 2016 and last year raised over €6k.

Stuart Cooper, Chief Operating Officer, Horkans Group commented: “Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland do some really amazing work across Ireland and we are really looking forward to supporting them over the next few years. This partnership gives us a wonderful opportunity to give back to families across Ireland. Autism affects 1 in 100 people in Ireland and it personally touches some of our own families here at the Horkans Group so it gives us even more commitment to actively support this great cause. The Furry 5k Woof Walk is our annual 5km walk for dog owners and their dogs and will take place in seven locations across Ireland on Sunday 23rd July with all money raised going to Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland.”

The first 350 people that have registered and turn up for the walk across the 7 stores will also get a special commemorative walk t-shirt. The charity fee contributions, which can either be paid directly or by raising funds for the charity through a sponsorship card, are:-

1 person - €15.00

2 persons - €20.00

Family - €30.00

Afterwards, there will be light refreshments for both the two and four-legged participants back at the Petworld Portlaoise store. Walkers will get the opportunity to meet representatives from the charity to see how the money they have raised will be used. There will also be free goody bags provided by Hill’s Science Plan Pet Foods, which will include money off vouchers for Hill’s Science Plan dog food.

Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland is a national charity providing highly trained assistance dogs for children with autism and their families. Their dogs are specially trained to provide safety and companionship to children also enabling social inclusion and a more independent life. These dogs help to transform the lives of children and their families. Having an assistance dog allows the families to be able to go out again and take their child to places that they had stopped going to. The dog also helps them to be able to partake in simple everyday activities that the rest of us take for granted. A simple trip to the local shop can be a very stressful task for a child with autism.

Nuala Geraghty, AADI CEO, commented "It costs €15,000 to provide a fully trained assistance dog but we are totally dependent for funding on the generosity of the public as we do not get any government funding. We are very pleased to be working closely with the Horkans Group in helping us achieve our goals. To date we have trained and supplied 27 assistance dogs and 19 companion dogs. Due to growing demand for our assistance dogs there is currently a five year waiting list. We have this year commenced our own breeding programme and we are delighted to have our first litter of 8 puppies. These puppies are now in their second stage of development – they are all out with foster families. Going forward we have ambitious plans to train and supply 20 assistance dogs per year.”

So come along on Sunday 23rd July and support a great event for an amazing charity and get walking and talking!

You can register online at or you can pop into the Petworld Portlaoise store and speak to Ruth or any member of the team to pick up your Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland sponsorship pack.