Two of Cumbria’s most famous springer spaniels joined their owner on an immensely successful fundraising hike to the top of Britain’s tallest mountain – raising £42,000 in the process.

Paddy and Harry joined their owner, Keswick resident Kerry Irving for an ascent of Ben Nevis on Wednesday, to raise money for UK vet charity PDSA.

The trio raised a colossal £42,000 in total, which will help fund care for pets in need.

Max, who Kerry credits for saving his life following an accident which led to him suffering crippling depression, is too old nowadays for such a mammoth climb, so waited for the trio at the foot of the Highlands mountain.

Kerry, author of the bestselling book ‘Max the Miracle Dog’, said: “Hiking up Ben Nevis was a challenge that I once would have considered physically impossible following my accident.

“I decided to take it on as a chance to not only face my fear but also shine a spotlight on the work of PDSA who work tirelessly every day to care for pets and protect the vital bond between pets and owners.

“I know first-hand how important that bond is ­– if it wasn’t for Max, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Kerry said completing the hike had been “emotional”.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the response we’ve received both financially and personally,” he said.

“Max, Paddy and Harry have played a huge role in not just my life, but for thousands of people across the globe. I’m so grateful for all the support and I’m very lucky to have them.”

Kerry and his trio of springer spaniels have become well known online, with Kerry sharing their lives with the world on social media.

Kerry uses his social media influence to fundraise and raise awareness for charities, especially PDSA, which provides free and low cost vet care to people and pets in need.

Nigel Spencer, Director of Fundraising at PDSA said: “A huge well done and thank you to Kerry and the boys for climbing the UK’s highest peak.

“They really are an inspiration and we are enormously grateful to them.”

“Thanks to Kerry and the boys’ loyal and generous Facebook followers, Kerry is able to share his love of PDSA with the thousands, for which we are hugely grateful.

“The support of Kerry, his canines and everyone who has donated means the world to us, particularly as the charity is facing a funding crisis.

“Kerry’s support means we can continue treating sick and injured pets in need across the country, and for that we are truly grateful. We don’t believe pets should suffer because of financial hardship and the support from Kerry will help us to continue our vital work.”

PDSA’s veterinary care – which is a lifeline to so many owners across the UK – costs £60 million a year to run.

But with many of its shops still closed and fundraising events cancelled, the charity is losing around £3 million a month in income.

With the country plunged into financial uncertainty as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, PDSA expects the number of pets needing care will increase by around 50,000.

Donate to Kerry’s fundraising appeal for PDSA at his JustGiving page.