Scottish SPCA staff take on Edinburgh Kiltwalk after being inspired by rescue dogs

Two women who work for the Scottish SPCA are taking on the Big Stroll at the Edinburgh Kiltwalk to raise vital funds for the animal welfare charity.

Gillian Boyle and Sophie Craig, who work at the Scottish SPCA’s Lanarkshire Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre, have been spurred on in their training by rescue dogs Lottie and Mabel.

After working with the pups, the pair, who have 40 years of service between them, decided to challenge themselves to walk 24 miles to raise funds for the Scottish SPCA.

Gillian Boyle said: “In our line of work, our heart strings are tugged on a daily basis but Lottie and Mabels’ story really got us thinking about how we could raise funds to support animals just like them in our centre and beyond.

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“Lottie arrived at our centre as her owner was involved in a court case. She was terrified of everyone and everything at first and needed some veterinary care. Our team worked with Lottie for three months to build her confidence and realised she was particularly fond of her fellow dogs.

“Mabel had previously lived in a home with 11 other dogs which would have been very stressful for her. She was friendly but very fearful and had to be fostered by one of our colleagues as she needed regular medical care after veterinary treatment.

“In April, Lottie found a new family and they had a chance encounter with Mabel whilst visiting the centre. It took another couple of months for Mabel to be ready for rehoming but they came back and fell in love with her too!

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Lottie and Mabel, who inspired Scottish SPCA staff to take on the Edinburgh Kiltwalk.

“Lottie and Mabel were reunited in June and are now living happily with their new family in Aberdeen. This is the reason we do the job we do.”

The Kiltwalk returns to Edinburgh on September 18 with a range of distances to suit all different abilities. Walkers can take part in the Mighty Stride (24 miles), the Big Stroll (14.6 miles) or the Wee Wander (approx. 3.5 - 4.5 miles). To sign up and start raising funds, visit https://www.scottishspca.org/events/scotlands-kiltwalk

To help Gillian and Sophie reach their fundraising target, visit https://edinburgh.thekiltwalk.co.uk/fundraising/EdinburghKiltwalk2022-GillianBoyle

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The Kiltwalk will be back in the Capital on Sunday, September 18.