A woman is running her first Half Marathon in a bid to raise money for Hope Rescue. 22-year-old Rachel Parry, from Blackwood, will be taking part in the Marathon in March. She said: ‘Hope rescue saves the lives of stray, abandoned and unwanted dogs that deserve a second chance. They take in stray dogs from six Local Authorities in South Wales – Merthyr Tydfil, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend and the western half of the Vale of Glamorgan – irrespective of their age, breed or medical condition. Hope Rescue currently helps around 800 dogs a year and as well as rehoming them from their rescue centre.’
‘I wanted to create awareness of Hope Rescue and the work they do. I am a dog owner myself and know how much joy a dog brings to the family. My dog Leo helps my mental health by keeping me company. I also benefit from taking him on walks. I get my steps in and spending time outdoors is good for my well-being. Hope Rescue re-homes dogs for a second chance and I believe every dog should have this chance.’
Speaking about her training, Rachel added: ‘Training has been a challenge so far. I have been running for a month now and progress is slow. Patience is definitely key when it comes to progressing. The weather is cold but I know it will warm up leading up to the Half-Marathon. Roath Park is full of energy and people. I like the sense of community so it makes training more fun.’
The Half Marathon, which will take place on Sunday 27th March, has been sponsored by Cardiff University since 2016 and is supported by a number of other strategic partners. More than 3 million pounds is raised every year, which supports a large number of charities and good causes.
‘Hope-Rescue has been amazing. They are supportive and will be keeping in touch with me up until the race. My friends and family have wished me luck and have given donations. £250 is my target for Hope Rescue. Any more donations will be amazing! The more the merrier!’
To support Rachel with her fundraiser, click here.
What is Hope Rescue?
Hope Rescue is a charity dedicated to saving the lives of stray, abandoned and unwanted dogs that need a second chance in life. Taking to their website, they said, ‘We commit to take all the stray dogs from six Local Authorities in South Wales – Merthyr Tydfil, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, RhonddaCynon Taf, Bridgend and the western half of the Vale of Glamorgan – irrespective of their age, breed or medical condition. We also help owners in crisis who need to surrender their dogs, giving them peace of mind that their dogs will be rehomed responsibly.’
‘After operating from commercial boarding kennels and foster homes for 12 years we finally purchased and moved into our own rescue centre in Llanharan, South Wales in April 2017. Our centre has 51 rescue kennels, two exercise paddocks, an indoor training centre, grooming room and 18 acres of private woodland.’
‘We also have stray dog kennelling contracts for Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend and part of the Vale of Glamorgan (covering the wards of St Brides, Llandow/Ewenny, Llantwit Major, Cowbridge and St Athan). We currently help around 800 dogs a year as well as rehoming from our rescue centre, we also work with other rescues, including Blue Cross, Dogs Trust and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, to take our dogs. This enables us to significantly increase the number of dogs we can help.’
Speaking about their mission, they wrote: ‘We feel passionately that our role is not simply to deal with the consequences of irresponsible ownership, but to tackle the root causes and reduce the number to dogs needing to access the animal welfare system. We also believe in the valuable pastoral and therapeutic role that the dogs can play in our local community.
Our Hope in the Community programme focuses on helping both pets and people. We offer supported volunteering and employment placements at bout our rescue centre and charity shop, working with several third sector organisations representing disadvantaged groups. Working with Local Authorities and Housing Associations we offer a subsided canine respite scheme to provide affordable boarding for dogs belonging to owners in crisis, including those fleeing domestic abuse, made homeless or going into hospital.’
To find out more, and to support the charity, click here.