Isle of Wight Branch
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Going the extra mile for animals in need

RSPCA Animal Care Assistant Vanessa Cox is taking on the grueling Isle of Wight Challenge to raise vital funds for ongoing work to provide emergency treatment for animals.

Vanessa will be walking 106 kilometers around the Island between 30th April-1st May to support the services that saved the life of plucky husky Maya whose story prompted an emergency IW RSPCA appeal last December.

Following a collision with another dog while out walking, a then 6-month-old Maya underwent an emergency amputation, suffered a ruptured artery and survived 4 blood transfusions before, against the odds, fighting her way back to health.


The cost of her treatment was around £ 12,500 and was funded by the Island’s RSPCA branch’s Maya Christmas Campaign. But funding expensive emergency treatment is a year-round task… and that’s where Vanessa is – literally – stepping in.

Vanessa’s upcoming walk, part of the Ultra Challenge Series, will take her along the southern cliffs of the Island, past the Needles and up to Cowes for a half-way stop, then to Ryde, Bembridge, Culver Down before the final stretch to Chale .

35-year-old Vanessa, from Newport, says:

“It is going to be hard work but will be worth every step if we raise a lot of money to support the emergency medical work carried out by the Island’s RSPCA.

“Maya’s case was a particularly inspirational one and it is fantastic she is doing so well. She has made a remarkable recovery and has such a wonderful character despite all she has gone through.

“But every year the local branch has to find thousands of pounds to give the animals who arrive in our care – some very poorly indeed – every chance possible. This often involves intensive medical care which can be very expensive indeed.

“The local branch gets no direct funding from the national RSPCA organization so we rely heavily on donations and I am determined to do my part too. Maya’s case was a success in every aspect but we need to keep going to make sure other animals have the same chances as she did ”.

As part of her training, Vanessa recently took Maya – who is shortly to be adopted into a loving home – for a walk around the RSPCA’s animal rescue center at Bohemia Corner, Godshill.

Vanessa said:

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“I was thrilled to get this job working with the IW RSPCA and this challenge is the perfect way to give back to the charity and the animals that I am so passionate about.

“I Walk the Wight every year but the Isle of Wight Challenge will be my first ultra challenge and the furthest I’ve pushed myself so I’m training hard at the moment. But I’m determined to go the distance and raise as much money as I can. ”

Vanessa has set herself an £ 800 target. Anyone wishing to help her reach that can visit:

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