Dog lovers united at sunset for ‘The Big Paws’ with Dogs Trust Ireland

Over a thousand people joined the magical event in Malahide Castle to celebrate ‘The Big Paws’, the first of its kind celebration of dogs in our lives, past and present.

by Alison O'Hanlon
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Thousands of people and their dogs came together at sunset across Ireland to celebrate ‘The Big Paws’ with Dogs Trust on Saturday evening. Supported by PetStop Ireland and 98FM, the heartwarming main event took place at the picturesque Malahide Castle and was attended by 1,500 people and 350 dogs.

Karenn, Stephenn, Libby and Zoey with Waffle pictured at the Dogs Trust ‘The Big Paws MemorialWalk’ in Malahide Castle. Photos Aliso O’Hanlon

The Big Paws with Dogs Trust Ireland is all about celebrating the cherished bond between humans and their furry friends. It provided people with a meaningful opportunity to “paws” and reflect on the unforgettable impact that dogs have on their lives. The event welcomed attendees from all walks of life who joined the cause to celebrate and pay tribute to the special place that dogs hold in our hearts. 

As the sun began to set, the pathways of Malahide Castle were transformed with attendees moving through a 3.5km enchanting display of music and lights, with lots of special ‘paws points’ along the way to honour and celebrate dogs. It was a reflective and uplifting experience as people came together to share a special collective moment and recognise the unwavering connection we have with our canine companions. 

Corina Fitzsimons, PR & Communications Manager at Dogs Trust Ireland said:“We are delighted that so many people came together to support ‘The Big Paws’. It shows how important this celebration is for people and how much it is needed. The event not only allows us to honour the special bond we have with dogs, but it has created a special place of connection and solace for those who may be grieving their dogs, allowing us all to take ‘paws’ in a meaningful, positive way. We are already looking forward to next year’s event.”

Suzie Carley, Executive Director of Dogs Trust Ireland continued: “The Big Paws marks a significant milestone in recognising and celebrating the bond between people and their dogs, further strengthening our commitment to ensure that every dog in Ireland receives the love, care, and recognition they deserve.”

Speaking about being a sponsor of The Big Paws, Damien Rooney of Petstop said: “Petstop were thrilled by the tremendous turnout for this amazing Dogs Trust event and the love shown to our furry friends, past and present. ‘The Big Paws’ exemplified the power of community and our shared passion for our canine companions. Petstop were very proud to sponsor this event and we look forward to this annual tradition.”

The Big Paws was not only about commemoration but also raised vital funds which will go towards supporting Dogs Trust Ireland’s mission of caring for dogs in need across the country. This remarkable show of support underscores the deep love and appreciation people have for their canine companions.

If you are dealing with your dog’s passing, please see the charity’s website for supportive information.

Featured image: Alva McCaul with LuLu, Noelle McCaul with Bailey and Aoibheannnn McCaul with Bertie

Pictures Alison O’Hanlon

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