An unusual Bonfire Night event for dogs attracted its biggest ever crowd on Wearside.
MyPetStop dog boarding centre in Washington has been running the event for five years and offers a remote setting where owners can bring their dogs for a less scary Bonfire Night.
The event invites canines who are terrified of fireworks to gather in a secure arena away from the sound of explosions.
This year’s event attracted 26 puppy party-goers and was the most successful ‘Dog Bonfire Party’ to date. Many first-time dog owners attended the event after it was advertised on Facebook.
Boarding centre manager Gillian Salmon has been managing the centre since January and decided to promote the event on Facebook, as she believes the main challenge the centre faces is that people are unaware of its existence.
Gillian said: “The biggest challenge we face is publicising the event and making sure it reaches the right kind of audience. Not many people know we are here.”
MyPetStop is tucked away in a rural location off the A19 in Washington and has been part of the North of England pet boarding centre chain since 2007.
The idea for the event was created when MyPetStop staff and regular customers brought their own pets to the sanctuary to escape the fireworks five years ago.
However, workers recognised a need for a public event and decided to invite other dog owners the following year.
Centre staff promised a night of fun as they immersed guests in popular party games that were tailored to four-legged participants. The childhood-favourite party game ‘musical chairs’ had been altered to ‘musical mats’ to ensure the game was dog-friendly.
As well as their Bonfire Night party, MyPetStop hosts an annual Christmas Party which takes place on December 16 at 11am this year. The popular Christmas Party provides dogs and their owners with the opportunity to socialise and participate in basic training.