Fun on four legs


A guide to local events and services for dogs, cats, rabbits and even tortoises! Words by Hazel Sillver


Mount Noddy Fun Dog Show21 April, nr ChichesterEnter your dog in the obedience competition, agility test or fast flyball runs. Mount Noddy is an independent charity within the RSPCA, which rehomes abandoned dogs and cats.01243 773359,

Sussex Game & Country Fair15 & 16 June, Parham ParkThis is a great fair that includes falconry displays and a world-class gun dog championship (labradors and spaniels must qualify in pre-tests or scurries, over the course of the weekend). There are also field events and show classes for terriers and lurchers.01889 563232,

Eastbourne Fun Family Dog Show10 August, Hampden ParkEnter your four-legged friend in the pedigree or novelty shows, the winners of which compete for Best in Show. Children (up to 16) can enter the Junior Handler competiton, and there will be racing and flyball events. The show is in aid of the Basil Memorial Fund, which helps abandoned dogs.01323 724012,

Ashington Festival Fun Dog Show17 August, nr PulboroughThis is a light-hearted version of Crufts. Categories include Best Large, Best Bulldog, Best Puppy, Best Veteran (7+), Dog with the Waggiest Tail, Most Appealing Eyes and the golden prize: Most Obedient.01903 892633,

CATSRSPCA Bluebell Ridge, HastingsThis is a self-financing rescue charity within the RSPCA group. The cattery has a large range of kittens and cats looking for new homes, including Bob (a short-haired black and white two year-old) and Pickle (a 15-year-old female tabby).01424 752121,

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Martins Wood Farm, RipeYou can buy 13 different breeds of hen (including black Sussex and coral) and cockerels, from this woodland farm at the foot of the South Downs. The shop also sells chicken supplies and coops. 01323 811877,

DOGSDogs Trust, ShorehamThis rescue charity’s Sussex base is a 52-kennel centre on the outskirts of Shoreham. They have dogs and puppies needing homes, including Rose (a young border collie) and Jake (a middle-aged Alsatian cross).01273 452576,

RABBITSRaystede, RingmerAs well as dogs and cats looking for new friends, the Raystede rescue sanctuary has guinea pigs and rabbits. Currently needing a new home is a young lop-eared bunny called Biscuit, who has a very funky hairdo.0844 875 1252,

TORTOISESSussex Chelonian Society, LewesThe SCS has tortoises needing new homes, sometimes because they’ve outlived their previous owners – many live to 90 years old! Anyone interested must join as a member (£10), after which they will be given lots of free advice on tortoise care.01273 475680,


Doggy Fashion, Brighton & HoveTheir two grooming parlours will clean ears and teeth and shave or snip your dog’s coat, as you require. They even offer a dyeing service: one client (a terrier) had a Union Jack for the Jubilee.01273 777555,


The Royal Oak, nr HoveThe nice folk at The Royal Oak in Poynings, will allow your best friend to sit beside you while you sup your pint in the pub (or in the garden, if it’s sunny).01273 857389,

Gardeners’ Arms, ArdinglyThis friendly country pub allows dogs into the cosy interior and the garden. They even have a jar of biscuits for four-legged visitors.01444 892328,


Labrador WalkiesThis is a new walk group that welcomes labs who want to make new friends! Walks will take place at scenic spots around Sussex, such as the Downs and Ashdown Forest.Anyone interested should contact

The Basset Hound ClubThe South East branch of the Basset Hound Club welcomes anyone with a basset to become a member and join in one of the regular group basset walks (the next one is at Ashdown Forest on 14 April)