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May 13, 2014

Bupa Great North Run 2014: Why run for Soi Dog?

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“Saving the life of one animal won’t change the world, but it will change the world for that animal” (author unknown)

I’ve always loved animals and, because I grew up with dogs in the house, I’ve naturally always been more of a dog person. Then my wife persuaded me we should get a cat. We came back from the refuge with two, a mother and baby, both jet black, and our passion for animals has only continued to grow – as has our family of pets.

We have loved and lost along the way, and right now our pet family numbers two dogs and four cats. When they leave you, they break your heart, but as any animal-lover knows, despite setting yourself up for future heartache, there is nothing more rewarding than giving these furry creatures a loving home.

We even gave fostering a go; our first “foster kid”, a spitz cross-breed, underwent such a transformation in just a few days that he found a home within a week. I admit to shedding a few tears when he left, it was a very emotional experience. Our second, a beagle cross-breed, was a sweet-natured boy but didn’t get on with our cats. He now lives close by with his new family so we get to see him from time to time. Our third, little Maggie from Romania, had me at hello. She fit right in straight away, which means our resident dog, Sienna, now has a little sister.

It was really my wife who drew my attention to the Soi Dog Foundation. Two years ago, I ran the Bupa Great North Run for the hospice which cared for my father. I decided next time I entered, I would run for a charity of my wife’s choosing, and she chose Soi Dog.

The Soi Dog Foundation was established in 2003 to address the tragic plight of the neglected and homeless animals in Phuket and other provinces throughout Thailand. The foundation’s aim is to set an example for the Asian region on how to humanely reduce the number of unwanted dogs and cats through spaying and neutering, and to improve the lives and living conditions of the stray dogs and feral cats of Asia.

The foundation is also actively working on ending the illegal dog meat trade from Thailand to Vietnam and supports the Trade of Shame campaign which began in 2011.

Since it was founded in 2003, Soi Dog has made a huge contribution in terms of improving the lives of tens of thousands of animals and continues to expand its support for homeless, abused and neglected animals.

I think it’s a great cause, which is why I’ll be pulling on my trainers this September for the Bupa Great North Run 2014, the world’s biggest half-marathon!

You can help Soi Dog UK continue to make a difference by sponsoring me at

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/jamiegray

For more information about Soi Dog UK visit

https://www.soidog.org or follow Soi Dog on Facebook

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