Pounding the pavements for rescue pooches

A local dog lover is going to be pounding the pavements to help the dogs he cares for at Dogs Trust Ilfracombe by taking part in the 2020 virtual London Marathon.

Joe Reed, from Ilfracombe, will join thousands of runners, joggers and walkers across the world on Sunday 4 October to take part in the 40th edition of the race by completing the 26.2 miles in 24 hours. He’s hoping to raise a minimum of £500 and complete the marathon in under four and a half hours.

Joe started at Dogs Trust in June 2019 as a volunteer, fitting in a many shifts as he could around his full-time job.  Working with dogs was his passion and became a full-time Canine Carer in January this year. Since working at the West Down rehoming centre, Joe’s passion has been caring for the rehoming centre’s long-term residents and his proudest moments have been seeing those dogs that need extra TLC, rehabilitated and starting life in new forever homes.

Joe said:

"I’m really proud of the work that Dogs Trust does and proud to be an ambassador for the charity in my community. I do enjoy running, and often head out with my dog Dexter, but this will be my first marathon - I’m usually seen on my mountain bike! I only decided to give this a go two weeks before the actual day, so I haven’t had long to train or fundraise, so I’m hoping sheer grit and determination will get me across that finish line!

"Dogs Trust has continued to find forever homes for dogs during the pandemic but are estimating that up to 40,000 more dogs could be at risk of abandonment as a result of the coronavirus crisis, some of which will inevitably end up coming into our Ilfracombe rehoming centre. That’s why I want to do whatever I can to raise money so we can care for the dogs that will need us in the coming months and find them their perfect families."

Russell Benson, Community Fundraising Team Manager, said:

"We are so grateful to Joe. The London Marathon raised over £40,000 for Dogs Trust last year so it’s wonderful that he is taking on this challenge, especially as he only signed up with two weeks to go!

"Every penny raised will go towards making sure dogs we are currently looking after and the thousands of dogs we anticipate will find themselves without a home in the future as a result of the pandemic, have everything they need until the time is right for them to find their forever homes."

To raise money, Joe has organised a cake sale for his Canine Carer friends at Dogs Trust Ilfracombe and has taken to social media and his local community to drum up support.

If you would like to support Joe, and change the tale for our rescue dogs please go to his donation page.