The love of animals and the outdoors will take a Sooke man on a 150-kilometre trek up the east coast of Vancouver Island.
For 24 hours, beginning March 20, Devin Meads will walk from Langford to Qualicum Beach, only stopping for bathroom breaks and a change of footwear in his one-person Walk for Paws Without Pause.
“I feel I can do it,” said Meads, who’s trained over the last six months for the epic challenge.
His goal is to raise money based on pledges per kilometre for the Victoria Humane Society (VHS).
Meads said he wanted to help VHS after the devastating effect COVID-19 had on fundraising for the local animal rescue organization and at the same time do something meaningful for his 46th birthday on March 21.
The idea was born last September, giving Meads time to prepare, both mentally and physically.
As for food and other necessities, Meads said friends and supporters would meet him along the way to provide any supplies he might need throughout the endeavour.
“I thought he was crazy when he first mentioned it to me,” said Penny Stone, VHS executive director. “I think it’s just an amazing thing that he’s doing because it’s an incredible feat to walk for 24 hours.”
Meads and his wife Patty learned about animal fostering after losing their first dog and looking for another. They found her and then discovered a community network of foster animal societies across Canada and decided they needed to be a part of it. That was 11 years ago.
They’ve fostered with VHS since it started in 2013. They have two dogs and two cats of their own while fostering other dogs, kittens and puppies. Meads estimated he’d fostered more than 500 puppies over the years.
Meads will start the 24-hour trek at 8 a.m. on March 20 at Ice Cream Mountain in Langford and walk along the Island Highway until he reaches Qualicum Beach.
You can donate to the 24-Hour Walk for Paws Without Pause online at www.vhs24hrwalkforpaws.com. For a one-time donation, go to victoriahumanesociety.com/donate and put “24Hr Walk” in the message line.