Canine stars paws for applause at school’s show

This Is Wiltshire: Pupils Imrana, Jack and Sophie at the back, with staff Sandra Muir, Esther Newman and Katherine O’Rourke. Rochelle is inside the costume Pupils Imrana, Jack and Sophie at the back, with staff Sandra Muir, Esther Newman and Katherine O’Rourke. Rochelle is inside the costume

CHURCHFIELDS Academy went barking mad when teachers brought in their pooches to raise money for charity.

Staff and their four-legged friends were put through their paces to take part in Scruffs charity dog show, with a variety of fun events and a few obedience tests thrown in.

Almost 350 students bought tickets to watch the event, which saw more than 10 dogs taking part, including labradors, a lurcher, a cockapoo, golden retrievers and several Heinz 57 breeds.

The categories voted on during the dog show were Cutest Dog, which went to Ruby the cockerpoo owned by Esther Newman, the school’s HR & marketing manager. Ruby also won the Most Obedient dog title.

Fastest on the agility course was Bruce the cocker spaniel, owned by science teacher Kirsty Warren, while best name went to Todd, owned by Brian McVeigh, teaching assistant.

Dog with the Wiggliest Tail was won by Zac, who belongs to head of year Katherine O’Rourke.

Money raised from the event will go towards animal charity Blue Cross and the PDSA, which provides free veterinary services for the pets of needy owners across the country.

Esther, whose dog Ruby won two titles, said: “The event was brilliant fun but I am exhausted now and so is Ruby. The students were amazing and had so much fun, and the dogs were really well-behaved.

“This was Ruby’s first ever show as she is only five months old. I had lots of fun and she did me very proud. There was lots of friendly competition between the staff but all the dogs behaved themselves very well and all deserved to win a prize.

“Rosettes and treats were given to all competitors and the children stayed behind to congratulate and pet Ruby.

“She enjoyed all the fuss, but will sleep well tonight.”

Vice principal Sara Wilson and head of year Katherine O’Rourke organised the event.

Sara said: “What started as a little bit of fun has turned into a big event and the staff got very competitive.

“It’s good see so many students wanting to come and watch the event and we have managed to raise over £150 for dog-related charities.

“It is a fun way to end the term and we were lucky with the weather. The students, staff and the dogs seemed to have a wonderful time.”

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