Heroic Dog Raises Money for Battersea Despite Battling Terminal Illness

01 Aug 2023

A brave dog, who was set to take part in a Battersea Muddy Dog Challenge event before being diagnosed with a terminal illness, has completed her own fundraising walk for the leading animal welfare charity.

Tank, an eight-year-old Labrador Cross, was originally signed up by her owners to take part in the charity’s challenge event in Stansted, Essex on 30 September, where owners are set tackle muddy obstacles with their dogs running and walking by their sides to raise funds for Battersea’s rescue animals.  

But after Tank’s owner, Kate Hawes, spotted a worrying lump on her mouth, she was whisked off to the vets where it was discovered that poor Tank had an aggressive melanoma in her jaw and an inoperable tumour in her liver. Her family were devastated when they were told that Tank had just weeks left to live.    

With the courageous canine taking matters into her own paws, Tank donned her Muddy Dog Challenge bandana and with best friend, Chihuahua Cross Goofy, she set off to complete her own Muddy Dog Challenge walk in the Cambridgeshire countryside with Kate who was joined by her husband Steve and children Josh and James.    

Kate, from Ramsey in Cambridgeshire, said: “Tank is such a fun-loving and adventurous pooch and we had signed her up for a fun day out at the Muddy Dog Challenge as a nice treat, so we were heartbroken when the vet broke the news to us. We just knew that we didn’t want to take part in September without her by our side. Tank is a determined girl however, and so we still wanted her to do her own special walk for Battersea”.  

Weaving in and out of local bridle paths, Tank trotted her own special route doing circuits around her favourite lake.  

Kate added: "Our brave girl led the way and she even took on her own fun obstacles by hopping on and off nearby logs. We walked 5 kilometres in total and we posted our route on social media so our friends and family who had sponsored us could see Tank’s amazing progress. We were all so proud of her for completing her own Muddy Dog Challenge and it’s a great comfort to us knowing that she was still able to help raise money for Battersea’s rescue dogs and cats who need that second chance in life”.  

After completing her walk, Tank was treated to a well-earned lick of Jude’s ice cream for dogs and posed proudly with her own Muddy Dog Challenge medal and rosette.  

Battersea’s Senior Challenge Events Officer, Jasmine Monk, said: “Tank’s efforts have been such an inspiration to us all and we would like to take this opportunity to thank her and her family for raising an amazing £350 for Battersea. All of the money raised will allow our dedicated staff to care for the thousands of dogs and cats that need our help everywhere”.  

To find out about ways to fundraise for Battersea including through Muddy Dog Challenge events which take place at locations around the UK, please visit: https://www.battersea.org.uk/support-us/fundraising  


Notes to editors

  • Kate’s fundraising page can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/MuddyDogChallengeStansted2023-StephenHawes
  • The Muddy Dog Challenge raises money for Battersea. Registration for the remaining events https://muddydog.battersea.org.uk/  
  • Battersea offers love and expert care to dogs and cats in need by rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals across our centres, and by sharing our knowledge and resources with rescue organisations around the world. We do this because we want to help every dog and cat, everywhere.      
  • ​In 2022 Battersea cared for 2,278 dogs and 2,253 cats at our three centres. We also helped thouands more through our communities programme, campaigning work, supporting other rescue centres and animal welfare advocates, and sharing knowledge and advice with pet owners.      
  • In addition to the site in London, Battersea also has two other centres based at Old Windsor, Berkshire and Brands Hatch, Kent.    
  • ​We’re reliant on the generosity of the public to continue to fund our vital work helping dogs and cats and the people who care for them. To donate to Battersea, visit: https://donate.battersea.org.uk        
  • To find out more visit our website or follow Battersea on Twitter @battersea , Instagram @battersea or facebook.com/Battersea