A CAMPAIGN has been launched to encourage people to spend more time walking their dogs.

Newcastle Brown Ale joined forces with the Dogs Trust's Darlington rehoming centre and Newcastle dog and cat shelter to promote the benefits of dog walking.

Roz Cormack, brand manager for Newcastle Brown Ale, said "Both of the shelters we are working with need volunteers to walk their dogs and taking one of their lodgers for a walk is a great way of assessing whether you can actually house a dog full-time."

Sarah Shreeve, of Dogs Trust Darlington, said more than 9,000 dogs were abandoned in the North-East last year.

She said: "It is encouraging to know that some of these dogs could find homes."