The 30th anniversary of the Great North Dog Walk in South Shields, was due to take place this weekend on Sunday, June 7.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak and restrictions on large gatherings, the event has had to be postponed until September.
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And it suffered another blow earlier this year when a major Chinese sponsor pulled amid the Covid-19 outbreak, putting the future of the event in jeopardy.
But now Tony says he is feeling “upbeat” and believes that the 30th event - which has been rescheduled for Sunday, September 27 - will go ahead, despite the current restrictions on mass gatherings.
He is confident that the dog walk – which attracted around 30,000 participants in 2018 – could be adapted to meet social distancing requirements.
“I’m feeling positive and upbeat about it,” said Tony.
“We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the Government decides people can come along as long as they keep to social distancing.
“We have all the dogs on the lead all the time, which creates natural distance anyway and it’s such an open space - all the stalls could be spaced out and we would have sanitiser stations in place.”
He added: “After two really bad postponements we’re considering every option, but obviously, the welfare of the animals and participants is my biggest priority.”
It is set to be reunion for Tony’s former pupils at Harton Technology College, where the event first originated from.
“We’re getting lots of interest from people wanting to know if it's going ahead,” he said.
“We want to make it a special one. All ex pupils and family can come along to help us celebrate the biggest and best dog walk in the world.”
Businesses or individuals interested in supporting the event can contact Tony on 07957249799.