CHEK Upside: Cyclist riding 400km to raise funds for Cowichan animal sanctuary

CHEK Upside: Cyclist riding 400km to raise funds for Cowichan animal sanctuary
WatchBlake Swan will embark on a 17-hour virtual ride to raise money for the A Home for Hooves animal farm sanctuary in Duncan.

In Michelle Singleton’s backyard, there are plenty of animals all getting a second chance at life.

“Everyone comes here, they live out their life, they’re happy and it’s a really wonderful place to live,” says Singleton.

A Home for Hooves Sanctuary was created by Singleton four years ago in the Cowichan Valley, with the goal of providing a refugee for farm animals.

“We have chickens, ducks, turkeys, peafowl, pigs and goats as well as some domestic animals, cats, dogs and some guinea pigs,’ says Singleton.

“We provide them a forever home. We are also the first accredited farm sanctuary in Canada,” she adds.

Currently, the sanctuary is in the need of a tractor to help with the upkeep on the property and Singleton was left wondering how to raise the funds necessary.

That’s when avid cyclist and new Vancouver Island resident Blake Swan heard about the cause.

“I just moved out here a few months ago and when I came out here I knew I wanted to be involved with the animal activist scene and I just started looking up organizations and sanctuaries,” says Swan. “It [A Home for Hooves] just seemed like a very wholesome place that I wanted to get involved with.”

Swan’s original plan was to ride his bicycle from Port McNeill to the sanctuary, but due to injury he will now ride the 400 kilometres virtually beginning this weekend.

“I have my bike hooked up to a trainer, it’s a Smart Trainer, and that sends information to this platform which is Zwift, it’s a massive virtual cycling platform,” says Swan.

“So I’ll be on the bike putting in all the work, I won’t just be actually travelling down the road,” he adds, who will spend 17 hours on his trainer.

Over $4,000 has already been raised, with Swan and Singleton hoping the donations keep rolling in.

“It’s great to know that we’re raising funds that are of use and hopefully we can continue to build up some funds throughout the day,” says Swan.

“Without people like Blake this wouldn’t happen,” says Singleton.

“So we are incredibly thankful for his support and without people like him these animals wouldn’t have a safe place to go,” adds Singleton.

The Ride for Hooves begins Saturday, Sept. 18. To make a donation visit the A Home for Hooves Sanctuary website.

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Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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