Birthday walk held for fundraising pooch

A Springer Spaniel has made headlines, as he was joined by a huge crowd of dogs and their owners for a walk in Keswick to celebrate his 14th birthday.

Around 400 dogs and 500 people attended the event, which was organised by Max’s owner, Kerry Irving.

Since being adopted by Irving in 2008 following a traffic collision, which left Irving with chronic pain, depression and mobility difficulties, Max has made a name for himself on social media. The affectionate pooch has spent the past 13 years helping over 10,000 people, and he was even invited to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Kensington Palace.

Thanks to Max’s efforts, over £300,000 has been raised for various charities over the years. Max’s online presence and popularity made him the first virtual therapy dog in the world, bringing comfort to people around the globe. The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) awarded Max the Order of Merit, making him the only domestic pet so far to have ever received this medal – all 32 previous recipients were specifically trained working horses and dogs.

In addition to his other achievements, Max is also a finalist in the Amplifon Awards for Brave Britons 2021 Hero Pet category, with the final awards ceremony set to take place on Tuesday, 5th October.

During Max’s celebratory walk on 12th August, all human attendees wore orange in honour of the helpful pup. According to the BBC, Philanthropy Manager Ruth Lister of the PDSA stated that:

“It was truly joyful to spend the day celebrating Max’s birthday with hundreds of people whose lives he has had such an enormous impact on.”

The outing raised over £30,000 for the PDSA.