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Not just a one-trick pony! RSPCA rescue dog does 2.6 challenge to encourage animal lovers to take part

Tod the rescue dog showed the world his repertoire of 26 tricks - including ringing a bell - to encourage animal lovers to take part in the 2.6 challenge and raise much-needed funds for the animal welfare charity.

The week-long challenge kicked off yesterday (Sunday 26 April) when the London Marathon would have held its 40th annual event and is asking participants to do a challenge around the number 2.6 or 26.

Every year the London Marathon raises over £25,000 for the RSPCA and is a vital source of income for many charities. To help raise money in these challenging times the RSPCA is asking kind supporters to take on a 2.6 challenge during this week, maybe something animal themed, to help the thousands of animals in its care and being rescued every day.

Emma Turner, staff nurse at RSPCA Putney Animal Hospital rehomed Tod, a Pomeranian, three years ago, after he was brought into the charity’s care as a tiny puppy. Tod has since thrived and has a particular penchant for agility and scentwork, which has proved an ideal way for the pair to take part in the challenge and create the video, which sees Tod demonstrating a number of skillful tricks including ringing a bell!

Emma said: “When Tod was just four weeks old, he was brought into Putney Animal Hospital, with a spinal condition that left him unable to walk - we suspected he had been dumped by a rogue breeder who dumped him after releasing he wouldn’t sell easily with his disability.

“Tod was treated by the hospital team and I, and as he needed extensive physiotherapy, I fostered him at my own home, and slowly he learned to walk. Tod came on leaps and bounds and I knew I wouldn’t be able to see him be rehomed to anyone else, so I adopted him. He lives a very happy and healthy life with me, despite his unusual walking style. He’s a lovely companion for my three-legged rescue cat and numerous foster kittens I hand-rear.

“Tod thrives when doing agility, trick training and scentwork, he thrives whilst learning something new. We were delighted to be able to show off his skills on video for the 2.6 Challenge, and really hope we have inspired other people to get creative and do something to raise money for the RSCA, so our vital work can continue,

“Working in an RSPCA hospital I see the very worst suffering that animals endure, and there is no greater joy than seeing an animal recover and go on to live a fulfilling life, whether that’s a wild animal that can be safely released, or a pet that goes on to find a loving forever home. Please support us if you can by taking part in this fun challenge.”

The charity is also asking other RSPCA supporters to come up with their own fun challenge this week to raise vital funds.

Ideas include:
● A 2.6k run in an animal onesie
● As many bunny hops as possible in 26 seconds
● 26 ball catches with your dog
● 26 or 2.6 stair climbs with your pet
● A 2.6k dog walk
● Running 26 times round your garden dressed as an animal

The RSPCA is continuing to care for thousands of animals during the Coronavirus pandemic and its frontline staff, which have been designated key workers, are continuing to rescue many more. The charity’s animal hospitals, RSPCA Putney and RSPCA Harmsworth currently have 67 and 44 animals in their care*.

The RSPCA is facing a huge financial strain as it is already seeing the damaging effect of this crisis on its fundraising income, while the costs of saving, treating and caring for animals continue.

The RSPCA currently has more than 4,000 animals in its care (4,112 as of Friday 17 April). We have taken in more than 600 animals since the lockdown came into effect on Monday, March 23 and expect to take in many more over the coming weeks.

What you need to do

● Pick a challenge (make sure it’s something you can do safely, while observing social distancing)
● Go to the RSPCA 2.6 challenge Just Giving Page and set up a fundraising page or make a donation
● Tell your friends and family about it, maybe challenge them to do their own
● Post about it on social media to spread the word even further
● Then get ready to join thousands of others to do your challenge, starting Sunday, April 26!

For more information visit:

To help the RSPCA keep rescuing animals like these and keep our animal hospitals and centres running for emergency treatment and round the clock care through these unprecedented times, please donate whatever you can spare at


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