Liverpool charity vet team take on world’s biggest virtual dog walk

A team of charity staff from Liverpool’s Huyton PDSA Pet Hospital are taking on the World Big Dog Walk to raise vital funds for pets in need.

The team – including PDSA vets, vet nurses, veterinary care assistants and receptionists – are aiming to walk 874 miles in September, equivalent to walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge financial impact on PDSA, seeing the charity lose around £3million a month in income. Despite this, sick and injured pets still need emergency veterinary treatment, which is why the Huyton vet team decided to take on the fundraising challenge for PDSA.

The virtual walk will see the team of 16 join other animal lovers and celebrities from across the UK as part of the World Big Dog Walk, a virtual event taking place throughout September. The ‘walkies’ challenge helps charities such as PDSA, who provide free and low-cost vet care to owners in financial need.

Everyone’s walking contributions as part of the challenge, will hopefully, together clock up enough kilometres to cover the earth’s circumference (40,075km)!

The Huyton team have already exceeded their £431 fundraising target (set because the Pet Hospital helped 431 pets every week in August 2020) and walked 440 miles, which has taken them to Anglesey, Yorkshire’s Three Peaks, the Lake District and many walks around the city.

PDSA Vet Helen Allwood (37), who has worked at the Huyton PDSA for eight years, said: “Working as a vet on the frontline during the pandemic has been incredibly intense. We’ve seen a huge number of pets in need of emergency treatment and I’m proud of how the whole team have pulled together to ensure we can still be there for pets in need.

“My aims with the Big Dog Walk challenge was to do something inclusive that we could all be a part of but also to make it fun! And hopefully to raise awareness of what we do and the huge numbers of pets and owners that we are continuing to help every day.

“Getting outside and walking or running really helps my wellbeing and I wanted to encourage the team and other people to do the same. We have such an amazing work family at Huyton and I am so proud of what we do and of how we have all pulled together to keep going at this bizarre and frightening time.

“Our fundraising target was £431 which is the number of pets we helped via phone consultations each week during August. We’ve already smashed this and I am so proud to be part of this amazing team and I know we will pull together to smash our target and raise lots of money.”

Visit www.pdsa.org.uk/worldbigdogwalk for more information and to sign up.