HUNDREDS of dachshunds were the stars of a mass gathering in Heaton Park as dog owners turned out to showcase their treasured pooches.

A total of 1,239 dachshunds and their owners set off on a walk around the park, many dressing up for the occasion.

Visitors helped raise more than £5,400 for charities Dedicated to Dachshunds with IVDD and dachshund rescue fund the Red Foundation.

The event was led by Julie Barbour from North West Dachshund Owners, who said: "It was absolutely mad. It was brilliant. The rain has stayed off.

"Everyone has been saying what a great day they have had. We had one dog in a tutu and some in bandanas.

"We raised £1,400 ahead of the walk and we have probably doubled that."

The 90-minute walk on Sunday afternoon saw the crowd set off around the boating lake, before heading up towards Heaton Hall for a large group photo and then returning.

Stuart Lockett, who attended with his family and their dog Lola, from Littleborough, said: "There was easily 1,000 dogs there.

"We went along because we love our dog and it was for a good cause - IVDD - which is common in dachshunds.

"It was crazy. I have never seen so many dachshunds. Before we set off, there were people still registering. There were lots of dogs in costumes. It was a fun day with the family."

Every pooch received a doggy bag with treats as a reward for taking part.

Millie Hughes, from Prestwich, attended with her miniature dachshund Lola and French bulldog Stitch, who have their own Instagram accounts.

She said: "It was a great day out for the dogs and the owners. There was lots of interaction with different breeds and you learnt a lot from other people about your own breed."

Ms Barbour, who lives in Salford, was inspired to hold the walk after seeing that Sausage Dog Walks had organised a similar event in Leeds on December 17.

For more information or to donate join the North West Dachshunds owners group on Facebook, or visit or