He scaled Ben Nevis and captured the public's heart
A hillwalker has raised £100,000 for the PDSA after hiking up Ben Nevis – the single largest amount ever raised for the charity.
Kerry Irving, from Keswick raised the cash in about six weeks.
Irving started fundraising in 2012, after his dog Max helped him recover from depression after suffering from chronic pain because of a car accident in 2006.
He has since written a book about his experience and runs a Facebook page where he shares his adventures with his three spaniels, Max, Paddy and Harry, which has more than 120,000 followers.
He raised about £47,000 by hiking to the top of Ben Nevis last weekend for Max’s birthday. Max is now 13 and too old for the climb, but Irving was accompanied by Paddy and Harry and livestreamed the challenge on Facebook.
He then also sold about 40,000 tickets for a PDSA online raffle, totalling £100,000 raised for the charity.
Irving’s challenge had already broken a PDSA record last month, when it raised more than £20,000 in its first week. The charity said it was the largest sum ever raised for a single volunteer challenge in such a short timeframe..
He said: “I’m fortunate that we can afford to look after my miracle dog Max should anything go wrong but there are thousands of miracle pets out there helping their owners daily that aren’t in the same position, and that’s why I’ve been working hard to fundraise for PDSA. They are a fantastic charity who believe no pets should suffer because of financial hardship and they are there for pets in need of life-saving care.
“Hiking up Ben Nevis is a challenge that, until recently, I’d have considered impossible. And if it wasn’t for Max, I wouldn’t be here at all. My dogs are my constant companions and I don’t know where I’d be without them, and that’s why I’m raising funds for PDSA who need our help now more than ever.”