The organisers of the Big Dog Walk series are proud to announce the 2020 Virtual Dog Walk – the World Big Dog Walk Challenge, which will take place in September 2020, and aims to raise thousands of pounds for dog-related charities, whilst not compromising the safety of those involved.
Dog walkers from all over the world will complete their walks independently, getting involved via the World Big Dog Walk website. Walkers can choose to walk wherever and with whomever they like. It is free to get involved, and all money raised will go directly to charities that support dogs in need.
Dog walkers can make pledges to walk a certain distance, or raise a target amount for one of the canine charities featured on the website, or a charity of their choice, examples include Pets as Therapy, Mayhew or Streetvet.
Nicole Cooper, managing director of the Big Dog Walk series says:
“2020 has been a tough year for humans and dogs. Dog charities have been suffering throughout this world heath crisis and so we are asking our pawsome dog walking community to get out and about in their own environment - should that be in a field near your house or even around the block on your regular walkies - and pledge a distance you and your pup will walk during the month of September to raise money for the dogs we all love.
“According to The Institute of fundraising, charities are expecting a 24% reduction in total income for the year, which equates to a £12.4 billion loss, in total (between 23rd March and the 12th May). This loss of income could potentially devastate many animal charities, where lives are often, quite literally, hanging in the balance. The World Big Dog Walk aims to make a difference, by calling upon the dog walking community to come together to raise valuable funds for man’s best friend”.
Organisers are aiming to hit a total of 40,075km - the circumference of the Earth, and are encouraging dog walkers to let their dogs take the lead, get out into the fresh air, and clock the miles up!
Once the miles start clocking up, Pip, the walk’s Virtual Dog, will start his journey around the world map which is updated in real time on the website depicting the miles walked by fundraisers. His aim is to lap the entire world (at least once).
Following months of lockdown and continued social distancing, the next Big Dog Walk series will take place across several sites in the UK, including Hylands House, Loseley Park and Belvoir Castle, in spring 2021 but in the meantime, organisers are delighted to be able to raise money and get dog walkers involved in their own virtual dog walk challenge.
Nick Daniel, marketing director at Dogs Trust said:
“Like many, Dogs Trust has been hard hit hard by this crisis, with many of our usual fundraising activities and income streams interrupted. We are seeing a huge drop in our fundraising income.
“We are doing everything we can to minimise the impact of this crisis on dog welfare, but the long-term impact of this emergency is yet to be felt. It’s likely animal rehoming centres will come under increased strain due to coronavirus in the coming months, at a time when charities are facing greater financial hardship.
“Now more than ever we will be relying on the generosity of the ‘pawsome’ dog-loving public to help us through these uncertain times. Our supporters mean the world to us and they always go above and beyond in service of dog welfare, so we are positive there will be lots of willing participants who can help Pip make his trip around the world.”
Chosen charity, Street Vet’s co-founder Jade Statt, states:
“Like all charities this pandemic has affected our funding streams with StreetVet seeing a 60% reduction in donations. The need for our services has intensified with calls to our teams increasing by over 100%. Looking to the future, we have real concerns that as a consequence of the pandemic, the number of those experiencing homelessness is going to rise and the need for StreetVet will be greater. Consequently, we want to thank the Big Dog Walk series for their support, it is needed more than ever.”
Mayhew Charity, CEO, Caroline Yates, commented: “The pandemic has hit the most vulnerable people in society the hardest, pet owners included, and Mayhew’s Animal Welfare Officers have been working non-stop throughout lockdown to support those in our community who need a little extra help. They are delivering food, litter, and flea and worming treatments to animals in need, and continue to work on the frontline rescuing and rehabilitating lost, abandoned and injured pets and strays. We receive no government funding, and rely on donations to keep going.”
For more information and to sign up, visit www.bigdogwalk.co.uk/world-walk