A Leyton artist who rescued a dog from the Chinese dog meat trade is set to take on the Virtual London Marathon in Epping Forest to help other animals. 

Richard Godfrey who in his Corporation of London work produced up to date maps of the Epping Forest, Whipps Cross and Wanstead, adopted the dog two years ago. 

Mr Godfrey welcomed lhasa apso dog Oliver into his home, after he was rescued from a dog meat trade truck in Beijing. 

When Oliver was rescued he only weighed five kilos, had broken ribs and was in a distressed state- when he was well enough to travel to Leyton Mr Godfrey adopted him. 

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Oliver after a full recoveryOliver after a full recovery

They now attends London-based protest events against the dog meat trade and Oliver is a proud spokes-dog for the cause.  

This year Mr Godfrey will run the virtual London Marathon through Epping Forest to High Beech to raise funds for NoToDogMeat- an anti-dog meat trade charity. 
He said: "I'm hoping that a couple of people might join me on the route.  

“It might take us half a day, but doing this will make all the difference to the dogs like Oliver who need our help. 

"Oliver is a bit little to take part, and there would be a risk of him overheating so he is going to sit this one out, but he does his bit to help by attending the protests, if he could talk he would give a very convincing argument.” 

Julia de Cadenet, who founded the NoToDogMeat charity in 2009, said: "We are so proud of Richard and Oliver, and they have both been tireless supporters of our work.

 "Many people think that the dog and cat meat trade is simply different countries having different cultures, but that couldn't be further from the truth.  

“In countries like China many people are working hard to effect change in attitudes, and stop this appalling animal cruelty, and we are there to help them every step of the way."