Week 4: Running in aid of woman's best friend, Dogs Aid
Dogs Aid Animal Sanctuary was set up in 1987 to help abandoned dogs in Dublin. Since that time it has successfully re-homed hundreds of animals that would otherwise have faced a bleak future.
The charity has a no destruction policy which means that no recoverable animal is put down and those who are 'too old or too bold' to be adopted can live out their days at the sanctuary. Some of the canine residents have been there as long as ten years and are known as 'Forever Dogs'.
2015 will mark the fifth year that a team of dedicated Dogs Aid supporters have trained, fundraised and completed the Women's Mini Marathon. Volunteer Martina Kenny who co-ordinates the participants explains the importance of the event for Dogs Aid:
"Dogs Aid is staffed entirely by volunteers and receives no public funding. Fundraising is essential to cover the significant costs of running the sanctuary, which include food, power, water, vet bills, medicines and also items such as leads, collars, blankets and dog toys. We also operate a free animal clinic in Ballymun. Every penny raised goes directly to the animals."
The charity plans to build a new sanctuary on their permanent site in north Dublin, putting additional pressure on an already stretched budget.
The funds raised by this year's Vhi Women's Mini Marathon participants, together with sponsored dog walks, dog shows, Grafton Street collections and other events organised by the Dogs Aid volunteers, will help these plans become a reality and allow the charity to continue to offer unwanted dogs a safe haven.
Around 50 women participated for Dogs Aid in the Women's Mini Marathon in 2014 and Martina hopes that this number will continue to increase, not only for the vital funds generated but also for public awareness. Previous participants on behalf of Dogs Aid have included celebrities Cathy Davey and Kelly Donegan.
With their faces painted as cute pups, clip-on dog ears and eye-catching pink t-shirts, the Dogs Aid team aim to stand out on June 1.
To join them, email firstname.lastname@example.org and to find out more information about Dogs Aid check out www.dogsaid.ie