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RSPCA volunteer John Oakley and his rescue Staffie Max are preparing to take on a gruelling kayak for RSPCA Warrington, Halton and St Helens branch.

It’s not the first time the pair have successfully fundraised together. In 2016, John and Max kayaked for 100 miles and raised over £3000. Max even gained the nickname ‘Pirate Max’ for his love of floating on the canals.

Max was adopted from the RSPCA Warrington branch after he was abandoned along with two other dogs. He spent over a year in kennels before finding his forever home.

The RSPCA Warrington, Halton and St Helens branch is a cruelty case boarding centre which means that the animals in their care have been removed by inspectors due to neglect or abuse. They are cared for by the team of staff and volunteers but it can take time and patience due to the severe neglect and cruelty they have experienced. 

John witnessed the difference the money made to his local branch and decided to ‘push the boat out’ for one last big effort.

John, who adopted Max will start the journey from Oxford to Warrington – almost 200 miles – on Sunday 16th September and finish on Sunday 23rd September at London bridge Inn in Appleton at around 1pm. The journey works out at 25 miles per day and John and Max – who has a customised life jacket – will be camping alongside the canals during the eight day voyage.

John lives in Warrington with his wife, Kei, who also volunteers at the centre. They share their home with Max, American bulldog, Diesel and rescue Pomeranian, Bo, who they also got from the Warrington branch.

John said, “We were overwhelmed by the generous support we received in 2016 and have seen the difference those donations made to the animals at the branch. It’s going to be a difficult challenge but I know Pirate Max will enjoy it as much as he did last time, but my arms probably won’t.”

RSPCA Warrington fundraiser Natalie Bargery said, “John is a tireless supporter and volunteer for our branch, he does so much for us every week. We are so grateful that he’s chosen to take on another, even bigger challenge to raise money for our branch. We want to support them as much as we can. We will be holding a welcome home event for John and Max at the London Bridge Inn on Sunday 23rd September. Please come down.”

To sponsor John and Max, visit their JustGiving page.

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