In charity, Cumbria Canine Services, Rescue dogs

It’s May! A lovely month typically blessed by good weather, good news for us dog walkers. It is also the month of Cumbria’s annual ‘Keswick to Barrow’, a gruelling 40 mile walk (or run, depending how crazy you are) that wends its way through the finest countryside the lake district has to offer.

Those who are crackers enough to pit themselves against this challenge often suffer impressive blisters, sore muscles and joints, and dehydration, amongst other things. It requires a certain kind of crazy to take up the challenge, which is lucky because CCS has that in abundance and have entered a team. Jody, Jill and supporters Nicola, Cat and Tony will be tackling this mammoth meander this Saturday 11th May.

Which is where you guys come in!

The K2B isn’t just a bit of fun. It is a big charity fundraiser, like Cumbria’s answer to the London Marathon. Teams raise money by collecting sponsorship for their charity of choice. The CCS team have chosen to raise money for The Birkett-Smith Animal Sanctuary and Canine Behaviour Rehabilitation Centre (reg charity: 1162016), a wonderful animal charity with a difference!

Based in Dorset, this smallholding provides a safe and loving forever home for animals who cannot be rehomed for a variety of reasons. Amongst their 200 residents, they have sheep, pigs, horses and birds, including emus and Sammy the seagull!

Of course, they also have more than their fair share of dogs. What makes Birkett-Smith so special, is that they specialise in caring for dogs with severe behavioural issues, who are unable to be rehomed due to extreme fear or aggression. At Birkett Smith they are given ongoing rehabilitation where with time, patience and understanding, even the most fearful and aggressive dogs learn to trust, so that they can live out their days loved and cared for.


They also run a remarkable scheme called SOS Safe-Havens, where rescues can place dogs that are in their care but need time and some rehabilitation before they can be rehomed, with Birkett-Smith. Birkett-Smith will care for these dogs and develop their confidence and trust so that they can go back out into the big wide world and continue their journey towards being rehomed. I recommend you pop along to their website and read some of their “happy beginings”.

Whilst I was reading about the work of Birkett-Smith, a saying came to mind, “Saving one dog won’t change the world, but the world will surely change for that one dog”. For many of these dogs this sanctuary is a lifeline. It enables those who could be rehomeable after some TLC, the time and safe space to get to that point, and provides a loving forever home for those that cannot.

It is a remarkeable charity, but it relies on the support of others. Luckily, there are loads of ways for you to help out. First up! You can sponsor either JODY, JILL, TONY, CAT or NICOLA for the Keswick to Barrow walk by clicking their names and filling out the donation form. As someone who has done the Keswick to Barrow, I can tell you it is a wonderful but tough event and participants really earn the pennies for their chosen charities!

If you would like to read more about Birkett-Smith you can do so on their website, or their facebook.
The have a sanctuary shop where you can buy specific things such as a vet visit, toys or food, or sponsor an animal. They also have an amazon wishlist.

On their website (at the bottom of each page) you can also find out about signing up for “easy fundraising”, “give as you live” and “amazon smile” where you can raise money for Birkett-Smith through your ordinary online shopping at no extra cost to yourself.

There you have it! There is a lot of information for you to browse. As always, CCS is grateful for the support of it’s clients and friends, and hope to do you and Birkett-Smith proud on Saturday. I think I speak for us all when I wish Jody and the team, the best of luck!       

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