Matthew will be walking from his home town in North Wales to London – a staggering 280 mile trek on behalf of two well deserving charities - Saving Suffering Strays in Sarajevo and All Dogs Matter who are based in the UK.
Saving Suffering Strays is run by rescuer Milena Malesevic who has been helping and rescuing street dogs for 20 years. The plight of stray dogs in Bosnia is a desperate situation; many are suffering from abuse, neglect, starvation, shootings and poisonings. Unfortunately there are very few shelters in the country and many believe that strays should be killed rather then spayed or neutered. Sadly some people kill the dogs themselves with rifles and slingshots and there are also regular poisonings and deliberate hit and runs.
All Dogs Matter rescue and rehome dogs in and around London and rehome them throughout the UK. Established in 2008 the charity was founded by three friends with a common interest in dog welfare who were aware of the growing demand for dog rescue services. The problem of strays has never been greater and is sadly the result of monetary greed. ADM make it their mission to help the dogs that cannot often be placed elsewhere and boast an amazing success rate in their rehoming activities. They rely on the help of volunteers, foster carers, drivers, fundraisers, home-visitors and donations.
Matthew tells us about his decision to raise awareness and funds for these fantastic causes, he said ‘As a privileged person who is owned by a dog, I cannot imagine the hurt and pain that his fellow breed has to go through just because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you ever want to know what ultimate loyalty is, look into a dog’s eyes and you will find it in abundance”.
The funds raised on this epic walk will go towards kennel refurbishment, food and medication, beds and rehoming costs.
Matthew will set off on the last week of March and hopes to walk thirty miles a day (with a camper van as his bed at nights). His route will go via the Offa’s Dyke Path which is a 177 mile (285 Km) long walking trail. The trail links Sedbury Cliffs near Chepstow on the banks of the Severn estuary with the coastal town of Prestatyn on the shores of the Irish sea. It passes through no less than eight different counties and crosses the border between England and Wales over 20 times. He will also tackle the Thames Path which follows England's best known river for 184 miles (294 Km) as it meanders from its source in the Cotswolds through several rural counties and on into the heart of London.
If you would like to sponsor Matthew and help him to reach his £5,000 target please donate at his Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Matthew-Cook26
To read more about Saving Suffering Strays
To read more about All Dogs Matter