Kerry Irving and his Spaniel companions, Max, Paddy and Harry have raised an incredible £21,764 for PDSA in just one week, ahead of their Ben Nevis challenge next month.
The fundraiser breaks the charity’s records for the largest sum raised for a single volunteer challenge in such a short timeframe.
Kerry will be taking on the UK’s highest peak with two of his Cumbrian canines, Paddy and Harry to raise vital funds for PDSA, who are facing a fundraising crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Spaniels are known for the life-changing role they played in helping Kerry to overcome crippling depression after a car accident left him with chronic pain back in 2006.
In 2018, Max and Paddy were honoured with a PDSA Commendation for the vital support they gave Kerry, along with the comfort and joy they provide daily to the hundreds of thousands who follow their outdoor adventures on social media. Harry joined the gang in 2019.
Since then, Kerry has published a best-selling book called ‘Max the Miracle Dog’ and continues to use his influence to fundraise and raise awareness for charities close to his heart, especially PDSA, who provide free and reduced-cost veterinary care to vulnerable pets in need.
Over the last three years, Kerry has raised over £165,000 for various charities through his fundraising initiatives. He was awarded the PDSA Fundraising Volunteer of the Year Award earlier this year for his amazing support for PDSA, which has seen him raise nearly £32,000 for the charity through his various fundraising challenges in 2020 alone.
Kerry said: “In 2006 I was involved in a road accident which changed my life completely. In 2009 after numerous operations, pain relief medication and crippling depression, I met a dog called Max. He turned my life around when I was at my lowest ebb – he saved me. In 2012 I walked Ben Nevis with Max, but at nearly thirteen he’s a little too old for that now so I’ll be joined my Paddy and Harry – it will be the first time they take on this challenge.
“I have been overwhelmed with the response to our fundraiser in such a short space of time. My original target was £2,000 and I was amazed this was smashed in a couple of hours. I promised to wax my legs if we exceeded £20k – which I’ll be sticking to and I’ll be sharing that experience live on Facebook soon– but it would be really wonderful to reach £25,000.”
Kerry’s key-worker role as a locksmith means he has continued to work throughout lockdown providing essential services and is looking forward to getting into the open air when Ben Nevis reopens for tourists.
PDSA’s Director of Fundraising, Nigel Spencer, said: “Kerry and his four-legged fundraising friends Max, Harry and Paddy are an inspiration to us all and we’re extremely grateful for their incredible, ongoing support. It’s the largest total raised by a single fundraiser through a challenge like this in such a short amount of time and we are so thankful for their support, especially at this difficult time.
“The support of Kerry, his canines and everyone who has donated means the world to us. PDSA is facing a massive funding crisis so vital support such as this will help ensure the charity can continue its life-saving work, treating sick and injured pets in need across the country. PDSA’s veterinary care – which is a lifeline to so many owners across the UK – costs £60 million a year to run. But with most of our shops still closed and fundraising events cancelled, we’re losing around £3 million a month in income.
“And with the country plunged into financial uncertainly, and more than a million extra Universal Credit claims, we expects the number of pets needing care will increase by around 50,000. We don’t believe pets should suffer because of financial hardship and the support from Kerry will help us to continue our vital work.”
Kerry is urging others to support his vital fundraising appeal for PDSA by donating to his JustGiving page.