Running for dogs, as a dog!

A dogged fundraiser from Salisbury is set to take on Sunday’s London Marathon dressed as a dog, to raise money for Dogs Trust to help rescue hounds looking for a new home. 

Dogs Trust volunteer, foster carer and supporter, Shaun Wildgoose, has already raised around £1,000 for us, thanks to donations from the public and match funding through his employer. But he's determined to raise even more money on his way around the 26.2 mile route by carrying a collection bucket- which will get heavier as he nears the finish line - as he brings in those last few pounds.

Shaun had originally planned to run in the 2020 race, which was postponed due to the pandemic. So he used the extra time as an opportunity to do even more training in the dog costume, which weighs around 3kgs. He has been doing park runs with his local running group, Stonehenge Striders, to get used to the costume.

Shaun said: 

“Running in the costume is tough, but with the support of the crowd, and maybe a few short pit stops,I know I'll get round. I'm not aiming for a particular finish time - I just hope I make it round the course in enough time to be able to pick up a medal!

“I wanted to do this for Dogs Trust, because without them, I would have never adopted my German Shepherd, Odin. 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 and I know first-hand how vital the organisation is.”

Dogs Trust Salisbury, who Shaun volunteers for, rehomes around 350 dogs each year and cares for around 60 at any one time.  

Russell Benson, Community Fundraising Team Manager for Dogs Trust, said: 

“Shaun is incredible, and we want to say a huge thank you to him for running for Dogs Trust. We are so grateful to Shaun and everyone else pounding the streets of the Capital on Sunday. Every penny will be spent on making sure our wonderful dogs have everything they need whilst they are with us so that they are ready to head off to their forever homes when the time comes.”

To donate to Shaun's fundraising page visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ShaunWildgoose