A local dog lover is going to be pounding the pavements to help the dogs he cares for at Dogs Trust Ilfracombe by taking part in the 2020 virtual London Marathon this weekend.

Joe Reed, from Ilfracombe, will join thousands of runners, joggers and walkers across the world on Sunday, October 4 to take part in the 40th edition of the race by completing the 26.2 miles in 24 hours.

Joe is hoping to raise a minimum of £500 and complete the marathon in under four and a half hours.

He began at Dogs Trust in June 2019 as a volunteer, fitting in as many shifts as he could around his full-time job. Working with dogs was his passion and became a full-time Canine Carer in January this year.

He said: “I’m really proud of the work that Dogs Trust does and proud to be an ambassador for the charity in my community. I do enjoy running, and often head out with my dog Dexter, but this will be my first marathon - I’m usually seen on my mountain bike! I only decided to give this a go two weeks before the actual day, so I haven’t had long to train or fundraise, so I’m hoping sheer grit and determination will get me across that finish line!

“Dogs Trust has continued to find forever homes for dogs during the pandemic but are estimating that up to 40,000 more dogs could be at risk of abandonment as a result of the coronavirus crisis, some of which will inevitably end up coming into our Ilfracombe rehoming centre. That’s why I want to do whatever I can to raise money so we can care for the dogs that will need us in the coming months and find them their perfect families.”

If you would like to support Joe go to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JoeReed4 .