Pedal power pushes dog lover to the limits in aid of four-legged friends

A member of the team at Dogs Trust Kenilworth has literally gone the extra mile – or 621 - for dogs in his care at the rehoming centre. 

Despite needing nine operations on his knees and feet in recent years, James Sowerby has taken part in the ‘99k for Canines Cycle Challenge’ to raise funds to help the dogs he knows and loves. But despite the physical challenges it posed for the 32-year-old, James decided to take it several pushes of the pedals further - and set himself a 999km virtual route. 

James, who lives in Longbridge, says: 

“It was a bit bonkers really, given the issues I've had, but I just wanted to do something extra for the dogs. 

“Cycling has really helped me recover after my operations, which have included cruciate ligament replacements and a broken foot, so it was great to use that experience in a positive way to help the dogs at Dogs Trust.” 

James, whose job at the Honiley rehoming centre includes finding foster carers for dogs, mapped out the route syncing his computer to his exercise bike and taking in five Dogs Trust rehoming centres. Starting at Dogs Trust Kenilworth he virtually cycled to Evesham, Newbury, Shoreham, Salisbury and Ilfracombe rehoming centres and then back to Kenilworth.

His journey took 36 hours and included 9,137 metres of climbs - more than the height of Mount Everest, and although he sometimes found it tough going, he said the thought of the dogs he was helping spurred him on. 

He added: 

“It was difficult and painful at times but having set up the route to the centres, every time I was flagging, I just thought of the dogs at those centres and what they go through, and it really motivated me. 

“I decided to complete the final 99 kilometres in one go with no breaks and it took me just under four hours. Just that part of the route was the equivalent of climbing Ben Nevis! 

“So far I have raised £1,141, which will buy a lot of toys and treats I am proud to think that I have done my bit to make sure the dogs can have everything they need while they wait for their forever homes.” 

To find out about the dogs at Dogs Trust Kenilworth currently waiting to find new families, please visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/rehoming