South Africa set a world record for the biggest gathering of dogs wearing bandannas at The Big Red Barn Farm in Irene. Picture: Facebook

Johannesburg - South Africa has another accolade to add to its list of achievements. Thanks to a few hundred furry friends, the country is now a new world record holder.

This was as we beat Australia for the biggest gathering of dogs wearing bandannas.

The event was held in Pretoria at the weekend and saw 765 dogs participating.

The previous Guinness World Record of dogs wearing bandannas was 764, set by an animal shelter in Canberra in May 2015.

During the event on Saturday at The Big Red Barn Farm venue, Guinness World Records adjudicator Pravin Patel admitted it was a close call.

“The success of the record attempt was balanced on a knife-edge leading up to the deadline, but I’m happy to report that the final count of bandanna-wearing dogs came in at 765, representing an improvement on the last attempt.”

Although the animals helped set a new high for the nation and received the world’s attention, the purpose behind the initiative was to raise awareness about animal cruelty.

Those who spearheaded the campaign, pet insurers dotsure.co.za, said they managed to raise R50000 in aid of the Animal Anti-Cruelty League, Johannesburg.

The insurer’s managing director, David Roache, said promoting awareness and educating pet owners about the importance of taking care of their animals was the same reason they started dotsure.co.za

“As animal lovers ourselves, we created dotsure.co.za for the love of our four-legged friends.

“Pets are such an important part of our lives, we feel they deserve the same care that we afford ourselves.”

He added that the insurers were intent on providing pets with the care they needed.

“We help pet owners do this every day by making sure that they have the support to cover their pets’ medical needs, no matter what life throws at them.”

Roache said they also wanted to be known as an organisation which cares about animals.

“We want to cement our support for caring for pets, by taking a bold stance to break a world record - to raise awareness with the South African public and at the same time help raise much-needed funds to assist the Animal Anti-Cruelty League (AACL) in the amazing work they do in this field.”

In a bid to raise as much funding as possible for the betterment of animals, dotsure.co.za also pledged to match every donation made to the AACL on the day.

Funds raised through the participants’ entry donations totalled R24500, which was doubled by dotsure.co.za, resulting in the total donation of R50 000 for the AACL.

The league’s general manager, Cindy Price, said they were thrilled to be a part of the initiative.

“The awareness created today bears testament to the role we play in animal welfare,” she said.

“Our gratitude goes to dotsure.co.za for this opportunity and funds raised today. We hope to see our relationship grow and develop in our common cause in the care and protection of animals.”

The Star