Pedal power pushes Kenilworth dog carer the extra mile and through the pain barrier for his four-legged friends this Christmas

James Sowerby, of Dogs Trust Kenilworth, cycled a 999k virtual route to raise more than £1,000 for the charity - he has had nine operations on his knees and feet in recent years

A member of the team at Dogs Trust Kenilworth has gone the extra mile - or 621 - to help the canine in his care at the rehoming centre this Christmas.

Despite needing nine operations on his knees and feet in recent years, James Sowerby has undertaken the 99k for Canines Cycle Challenge to raise funds to help the dogs he knows and loves.

Despite the physical challenges it posed for the 32-year-old, James decided to take it several pushes of the pedals further - and set himself a 999k virtual route.

James Sowerby is pictured at Dogs Trust Kenilworth with Spaniel Cross, Suede, one of the many dogs his fundraising efforts will help.

James said: “It was a bit bonkers really, given the issues I’ve had, but I just wanted to do something extra for the dogs this Christmas.

“Cycling has really helped me recover after my operations, which have included cruciate ligament replacements and a broken foot, so it was great to use that experience in a positive way to help our dogs.”

James, whose job at the Honiley rehoming centre includes finding foster carers for dogs, mapped out the route syncing his computer to his exercise bike and taking in five Dogs Trust rehoming centres.

Starting at Dogs Trust Kenilworth he virtually cycled to Evesham, Newbury, Shoreham, Salisbury and Ilfracombe rehoming centres and back to Kenilworth.

James Sowerby powered on to raise more than £1,000 for the dogs at Dogs Trust.

His journey took 36 hours and included 9,137 metres of climbs - more than the height of Mount Everest.

He also burned 18,706 calories during the challenge and decided to complete the final 99 kilometres with no breaks - pedalling for just under four hours.

On that part of the route alone he climbed the equivalent height of Ben Nevis.

And although he sometimes found it tough going, he said the thought of the dogs he was helping spurred him on.

He said: “It was difficult and painful at times but having set up the route to the centres, every time I was flagging, I just thought of how what I was doing will help make sure they have an extra special Christmas with us until they find a home of their own.

“Having burnt off so many calories I’ll definitely be treating myself to a few more roast potatoes! So far I have raised £1,141, which will buy a lot of toys and treats for the dogs,” says James.

"I am proud to think that I have done my bit to make sure our dogs can have everything they need on Christmas Day and beyond until they find the forever homes they all deserve.”