Dogged determination for animal rescue cause

Jo Goodyear

Jo Goodyear will be running 26.2 miles for Hillside Animal Sanctuary - Credit: Jo Goodyear

A rescue worker and volunteer is going the extra mile for an animal sanctuary cause by running a marathon distance with dogs alongside her.

Jo Goodyear, of Norfolk's Hillside Animal Sanctuary, decided to take action to lift spirits with volunteer dog walkers unable to continue due to COVID restrictions. 

Miss Goodyear will be raising funds for the sanctuary by running 26.2 miles on her birthday, February 16. 

Jo Goodyear

Jo Goodyear has been at Hillside Animal Sanctuary since 2014 - Credit: Jo Goodyear

She said: "2020 has been a difficult year for us all, myself included as I had to have major surgery at the end of year.

"I see every day the incredible work that goes on at the sanctuary in all weathers to keep the animals safe and loved, and I just wanted to give something back." 

The rescue worker was inspired to take on the challenge by the documentary of Fiona Oakes, the world record holding vegan distance runner who raises funds and awareness of animal welfare issues.

Hillside Animal Sanctuary

A rescue dog at the sanctuary - Credit: Hillside Animal Sanctuary

As part of her challenge, Miss Goodyear will run the 3km around the sanctuary 14 times with various rescue dogs. 

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Miss Goodyear added: "I have seen the difficulties for both the animals in this particularly wet winter and for the sanctuary in terms of raising funds.

"There are always dogs in need of help and the Dog's Trust estimate there may be over 40,000 dogs needing support in the backlash of the COVID-19 crisis.

"It has also been a massive boost to my mental health to do something positive on my birthday. It coincides with Random Acts of Kindness week which I have always wanted to do something for.

"'It will no doubt be a long mission with lots of sniffing along the way as I don't think the dogs will understand the concept of a time trial!"

A crowdfunding page has been set up for the cause with donations going towards the huge costs of feeding and caring for the thousands of domestic and farm animals living at the sanctuary.

This includes the cost of straw, the upkeep of the dog rescue and rehoming unit, with donations of towels, non-feathered bedding and food also welcomed.

Visit to donate.