A bid has been launched to raise £10k to build a statue to remember Walnut the Whippet on the beach where hundreds joined the poorly pooch for his final walk.
The 18-year-old pet captured the hearts of the nation after his owner Mark Woods posted an appeal for dogs and their owners to join him one last time.
Mark, 53, of Newquay, Cornwall, who launched the #walkwithwalnut appeal on social media, said he had been overwhelmed by the response from across the world.
And some of his many supporters have now launched a campaign for a permanent statue at Porth beach where dog walkers from across the country gathered on Saturday morning for Walnut’s emotional last stroll.
The fund raising drive has been launched by Jon Goodman alongside a group of friends with the hope it can become a place to remember all pets.
Mr Goodman said: “We feel that as it was a huge show of emotion, and caring for a stranger to many, that a permanent statue should be erected of Walnut at the beach to remember not only the event, but the way the community united worldwide for such a hard event for Mark and his family.
“Myself, Mikey Harris, Maureen Marshall, Jessica Goodman and Sarah Beadle are representing a community that came together to share a special moment with Mark and his beloved Walnut on his last walk.
“We believe that the statue will not only be a place to remember Walnut, but a place to remember all pets.”
The group of fundraisers also plan to stage an annual ‘Walnut Walk’ on Remembrance Saturday each year.
Mr Goodman added: “We are organising an annual ‘Walnut Walk’ for ‘Remembrance Saturday’ each year with the first one being Saturday, November 12, 2017, and we plan to have the statue unveiled on that day.”
A page has now been set up on the Justgiving where people can make donations towards the statue and donations have already begun to flood in.
Mr Goodman said: “This page has been set up so the statue can be the best possible, and we have decided that if there are any monies left over once it has been completed, they will be donated to St. Francis dog home in Newquay.”
Mark took Walnut on his final walk with the support of his wife Lisa, 47, step-daughter Daisy and father-in-law Bryan, 77, alongside hundreds of others.
And he said he was stunned by the global response to what he thought was just a local appeal.
He added; “If I could email back the thousands of people that have contact me I definitely would, but I’m sure they appreciate I can’t physically do that.
“It was great because it touched a lot of people’s hearts, and it wasn’t all just about Walnut.
“People were coming up to me telling me they’d lost their dog or their cat recently and a few people said they even lost them yesterday or the day before and they had to come down.
“People came from all over the country came to the walk because they could release their own emotions and that’s what it was about really.
“People have been getting in touch from literally all over the world, Australia, America, China and Costa Rica, as well as pretty much every country in Europe.”