Our animal of the month for August 2015 is Fergus the fundraising dog.
The 8 year old Welsh Springer Spaniel is resting his paws after taking part in a 192 mile fundraising walk to raise money for the Animal Health Trust, a charity which aims to improve the health and welfare of horses, dogs and cats through treatment and research.
Along with his dedicated owners, Debbie and Dave Yates, Fergus successfully completed Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk from St Bees on the Cumbria Coast to Robin Hoods Bay on the North Yorkshire Coast. The walk covers a wide range of adverse terrain, through the Lake District, across the Yorkshire Dales and, finally, through the North Yorkshire Moors, and is not for the faint-hearted.
Totalling 18 days of solid walking through wind, rain – and even some sun – the challenge was completed in two halves, initially covering the first 82 miles of the journey and then the remaining 108 miles to the North Yorkshire Coast.
Fergus took part in a lots of training beforehand to make sure he was fit enough to complete the walk. Some dogs become too tired or develop sore paws when walking such a distance, but Fergus seemed to enjoy every minute of the adventure!
Five years ago Fergus was struck down with Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI), and Debbie and Dave were very close to losing their treasured friend. Luckily, Fergus received treatment in time and was saved.
The cause of SCI is not known but it can strike over the summer months and into early autumn and can make dogs incredibly sick and lethargic shortly after having been walked in woodland. With quick action, most dogs can pull through if they are seen by a vet in time.
Debbie said: “The Coast to Coast Walk is something I’ve always wanted to do so I’m really pleased that we were able to complete the challenge, with Fergus in tow! We weren’t always blessed with the weather, and it was incredibly hard-going at times, but the views were amazing and it was worth all the hard work in the end.
“We’ve been blown away by people’s generosity so far and have exceeded our target for the Animal Health Trust. It’s thanks to their expertise that Fergus, and many other dogs, are surviving the mystery seasonal illness, known as SCI. Although the cause of SCI was never found I’m sure increased awareness and knowing what to look out for has made a huge difference to so many dogs’ lives, including our Fergus, and for that we’re really grateful.”
Fergus has helped to raise over £1,000 for the Animal Health Trust. To donate towards Fergus’ adventure walk go to: www.virginmoneygiving.com/FergusTheDog
To find out more about the work the Animal Health Trust do please visit their website: www.aht.org.uk
Help us celebrate Fergus, our ‘Amazing Animal of the Month’, by sharing his story.