ARMAGH fundraiser and animal lover Willie Nugent is to cycle from Armagh to Moira later this month to raise money for a cause close to his heart.
Willie is hoping to raise funds for ‘Almost Home’ animal shelter and meet the dogs, when he takes part in the event on Tuesday, June 18.
‘Almost Home’ is a charity with a team of dedicated volunteers, with an aim to take in stray animals, rehabilitate those that need it and help them find their forever home.
Willie told the Ulster Gazette: “Over the past number of years on my Shaking Paws around the World journey, I have met hundreds of dogs. It’s hard to keep each dog and its rescue story separate, however there are a few I will never forget and never want to forget.
“I have met dogs that were attacked with vicious brutality, chained, beaten and tortured. Being involved in helping animal shelters, you sometimes think you have seen it all. You ask yourself are you really making a difference .
“Then along comes a dog like Alina who I met during my visit to the Odintsovo shelter in Moscow. She does not burden you with her problems, past or present, she is not a complainer, she is happy to put the past behind her and look forward to the future, always with her paw raised in greeting.
“Holding her paw in my hand was a magical experience for me - an unforgettable episode in my life.
“If we cannot treat our animals with respect and love, then how can we learn to treat our fellow humans in the same way.
“Our dogs have no money, no gold, no diamonds to give you. But their gifts of love, loyalty and devotion are priceless and abundant,” he added.
Anyone wishing to support Willie’s cycle can give him a donation the next time they see him walking his dog Maisie.