Dogs Trust

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Pounding the pavements for pooches

The manager of Dogs Trust Ilfracombe is taking on the London Marathon and hoping to raise £2,000 for the dogs in its care. 

Elise Watson has been the manager of the West Down-based Rehoming Centre for three years and helps to care for and rehome around 350 dogs each year. 

Elise currently shares her home with elderly rescue dog Missy who she has had for 12 years and grew up with dogs.

Elise said:

“There has been a dog in my family since the day I was born and I can't imagine home without a waggy tail to greet me when I come through the door. But not every dog is lucky enough to find their forever family the first time around so Dogs Trust is incredibly important in helping these dogs find a new beginning through its network of rehoming centres.” 

Elise will take on the iconic Virgin London Marathon and is already on track to hit her fundraising goal of £2,000 which will all go towards looking after dogs being cared for at Dogs Trust, including those at the rehoming centre in Ilfracombe. 

Elise, who is a member of North Devon Road Runners, adds:

“I have always wanted to run London Marathon but have entered the ballot for about seven years without success! I hadn’t applied for a charity place before because I wasn’t sure if I had what it took to raise the sponsorship amount, but after chatting to a fellow clubs runner and marathon entrant, she gave me some tips and I realised that it could be done. Dogs Trust was the obvious choice of charity as I know first-hand how vital the organisation is.” 

Elise plans to raise the sponsorship through a quiz night, bag-packing at a local supermarket and Memory Miles – where people can make a £10 donation and she’ll run a mile in memory of a loved one. 

Elise adds: “I’m a social runner and enjoy club nights as the community aspect motivates me more than running alone. I’ve no plans to challenge Paula Radcliffe’s record but if I can complete the marathon in about five hours then I’ll be happy.”

Dogs Trust Ilfracombe rehomes around 350 dogs each year and cares for around 60 at any one time. 

To donate to Elise’s fundraising page visit or pop in and see her at Dogs Trust Ilfracombe.