James Middleton rarely goes anywhere without his beloved pups, but now his special mode of transportation for them is gone.
Kate Middleton‘s younger brother revealed on Instagram Wednesday that the unique bike he is frequently seen on — complete with a cart in front where his many dogs ride — was recently stolen.
“Sadly my Dog Bike got stolen -😔,” he captioned a post sharing multiple photos of the animals enjoying the ride. “Ella & Co are devastated – taking the dogs out on the bike brings me so much joy and to all those we meet on the way. There is CCTV which is being investigated but would love to find it…”
James, 32, decided to turn his misfortune into a positive, however. He pledged that if the post reached 15,000 likes, he would make a donation to the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, “in support of their wonderful work [whose] residents have lost more than just a bike!”
As of Thursday morning, the post far exceeded the goal with nearly 30,000 likes.
In an op-ed for the Daily Mail published in January, James opened up about his battle with depression, recounting his darkest moments before seeking treatment a little over a year ago. He also credited his dogs with providing emotional support.
“I recognize, too, the role my dogs — Ella, Inca, Luna, Zulu and Mabel — have played in my recovery,” he wrote.
“Ella, particularly, has been my constant companion for ten years and she’s been with me to all my therapy sessions. In her own particular way, she has kept me going,” he continued. “As a result, Ella and I now volunteer with the Pets As Therapy charity and Ella is a fully-fledged therapy dog for PAT.”
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James later revealed his reason for speaking out on his experience is to help change the stigma associated with mental illness.
In addition, James felt compelled to follow the lead of his sister Kate, brother-in-law Prince William and Prince Harry, who have been strong advocates for mental health.
“They believe we can only tackle the stigma associated with mental illness if we have the courage to change the national conversation, to expel its negative associations.”
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