NEW CUMBERLAND - A local marathon runner has announced her intention to lace up her running shoes to help homeless pets in Hancock County.
Heather Brady wants to show her support for adoption efforts at the Hancock County Animal Shelter, by seeking donations and sponsors for her participation in the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 4.
As Brady tells it, her bond with these shelter pets runs deep.
Runner Heather Brady with son Jack and recently adopted dog Joanie
"The Pittsburgh Marathon will be my 100th marathon," she said, noting a marathon is 26.2 miles. "I've been running marathons, ultra marathons and shorter distances for 13 years, and this is a monumental one, so I wanted to make it special," she said.
"When I signed up for it in September, I knew I wanted to fund-raise, but I wasn't sure for which charity," Brady continued.
Inspiration came when she and her 2-year-old son Jack were at PetSmart in Robinson in November.
"We were on an adventure to get some fish. We came home with fish, plus an unexpected surprise - a sweet dog named Joanie from the Hancock County Animal Shelter. Volunteers were having an offsite adoption event there," she explained.
"As soon as we got home, I looked up the Hancock shelter information and instantly became a fan of their mission and commitment to animals," she said. "The shelter has become very near and dear to my heart. My plan is to seek financial sponsorships for my race, via word of mouth, e-mail, local media and social networking and help all the homeless pets at the Hancock County Animal Shelter."
Brady's efforts will help to serve many homeless pets which find themselves in need of loving care at the Hancock County Animal Shelter, according to Marjie DeFede, the shelter's media director. "Brady will be accepting donations through PayPal or direct donation to the shelter. Please contact Brady for details on how to sponsor her milestone race," she said.
Brady can be contacted at (303) 929-3235.
"The Hancock County Animal Shelter Foundation operates the Hancock County Animal Shelter, through a contract with the County Commissioners. The shelter operates on an open-door policy, to provide a safe haven for companion animals in need of care and compassion. It relies on the generosity and commitment of volunteers like Brady for the resources needed to continue this important work and provide funds, especially for animals with special needs," DeFede said.