Miracle dog Jasper has been adopted as a mascot by the rescuers who helped find him when he became lost on the fells.
A huge social media campaign to find the border collie was launched last week when he disappeared while out with his owner Adam Nolan.
His plight led to donations from well-wishers of more than £50,000 with gift aid of £11,000 to a JustGiving fundraising appeal in less than 48 hours. This will be used to help the team build a new base at Gosforth.
Richard Warren, a member of Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team who was part of the operation, said: “We have adopted Jasper and we are keen to get Adam on the team too as has expressed an interest in joining us.”
Jasper was eventually reunited with 31-year-old Adam, from Whitehaven, after charity worker Geoff Horky braved sub-zero temperatures to rescue him.
Animal-lover Geoff, a former member of Penrith Mountain Rescue Team, read of Jasper’s predicament and scoured the fells in the dark for hours before discovering the dog cowering behind a boulder on Broad Stand Col, Scafell Pike.
After abandoning an attempt to walk down the mountain because of Jasper’s exhausted state he called the mountain rescue team. The pair huddled in a makeshift shelter to keep warm until rescuers arrived.
Geoff, an experienced climber who lives near Carlisle, was motivated to look for Jasper after recently losing his own dog Jack to pancreatitis.
Armed with a pocketful of ham and cheese, Geoff, who works at the Glenmore Trust in Carlisle, set off on Wednesday night – three days after Jasper was last seen.
Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team had already been fundraising for a new rescue headquarters and the latest donations will go towards that. Mr Warren said anything in addition to the £50,000 would go towards equipment and training.
He said: “This is an incredible amount of money. It has come as a surprise to the team and a surprise to Adam. We have also had people donating dollars from America, New Zealand and Australia. We want to thank everyone.”