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My Cause

The Monster Milers:  In late 2009, I had a crazy idea that I never dreamed would take off.  It came to me while running (naturally) and brought together two of my passions:  Shelter work and running.  You see, I own a large dog walking service and I have the luxury to be able to devote a few hours a week to my local animal shelter, Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society.  I call it my “soul work.”   I just feel better after a few hours at the shelter.  I know I’m not solving all of the world’s problems, not even Philly’s shelter crisis issues, but it keeps me feeling good and there’s nothing better than making a dog’s day a little bit better.  (After all, they give back a tenfold what we give to them.)

So one day, while running my two dogs, I wondered, “Would PAWS let me take one of their dogs for a run, rather than a walk?”  They sure did.  Then I wondered, “Would PAWS let me bring other folks in on this?”  As long as I trained them for safety, PAWS was thrilled.  Then came the question, “Would any runners even be interested?”  Let’s just say, I could probably make The Monster Milers my full time “job” and we have hundreds of runners waiting to go through our orientation.  We have been featured on NBC, Runner’s World Daily Blog, and USATODAY.  Whoa!

We have put over 220 runners through orientation (as of December 2011) and in any given day, we have 2-8 runners visiting two Philadelphia shelters.  It’s pretty amazing to watch.  This crazy idea I had has taken on a life of it’s own – and the volunteer runners are fueling it, one mile at a time.  We are now at three shelters in Center City Philadelphia and hope to expand to a fourth in 2012/2013.

Our goals:

Our Goals:

  • To offer dogs in the Philadelphia shelters a form of regular, vigorous exercise and facilitate quicker adoptions due to less stressed out dogs.
  • Attend annual running events and races to find loving homes for shelter dogs
  • Encourage runners to adopt dogs for safety, friendship, and motivation
  • Recruit more volunteers for Philadelphia’s shelters, not only for running purposes.
  • Increase public awareness about the plight of the 30,000+ homeless pets that enter Philadelphia’s animal shelters each year.

We’re currently seeking legal counsel to set up as a 501c3 so we can expand as a group to other shelters (in the process now).  And we have our 1st Annual Rescue Run planned for sometime in 2012-2013 (We’re really looking for an experienced race coordinator to help us out – any takers?)  It’s been an amazing year of discovery, inspiration and sheer joy.  The support has been overwhelming from the rescue community, the press, and… the runners.

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