Dogged devotion leads teenage dog lover to take on Everest challenge

A 13-year-old dog lover is counting down to a challenge of a lifetime, inspired by her love of our four-legged friends.

On the 2 April Leah-Mai Rimmington will begin an eight-day, 82-mile trek to Mount Everest base camp. She will brave ice-cold temperatures and the risk of altitude sickness, frostbite and hypothermia, to raise thousands of pounds for Dogs Trust, which has a rehoming centre in Loughborough. As she embarks on her final preparations for the challenge, the intrepid teenager says thinking of the dogs who need new homes will spur her on.

Leah, from Grantham, says: “I absolutely love dogs and can’t imagine not having dogs as part of our family, so I want to do as much as I can to help those that for whatever reason, have had to leave their families behind and now need new homes.

“I am hoping to raise £5,000 and however hard it gets, I know thinking of the dogs I am helping will keep me going.”

Often accompanied by her Sprocker Spaniels Harley and Ralph, Leah’s year-round training has included conquering Scotland’s, England’s and Wales’s highest mountains – Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon. She’s also tackled the notorious Fan Dance, a 24-kilometre route in the Brecon Beacons that is infamous among the ranks of all UK Special Forces.

Now, with just a month to go before she flies out to Kathmandu, she is training harder than ever and is planning to conquer the iconic Helvellyn mountain in the Lake District before she leaves.

Celine Di Crocco, Manager at Dogs Trust Loughborough, says: “We have been keeping up to date with Leah’s training for some time now and we think she is incredible for taking on such a mammoth challenge. The fact that she has chosen to support us is wonderful and means we can make sure dogs we are caring for have everything they need, whether that’s treats and toys or specialist training.

“Leah has visited the centre and as we cheer her on from afar, we really hope that thinking of our dogs gives her the courage and strength to carry on, however tough it gets.”

If you would like to support Leah’s mega fundraising challenge, please go to https://rb.gy/ul2yup To find out more about all the dogs at Dogs Trust Loughborough waiting for forever homes, please go to www.dogstrust.org.uk