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Police dog charity appeals to runners to help raise cash

Marathon runners could get a coveted race entry and help care for retired police dogs.

The charity supporting ex-police dogs is appealing to charity runners to help raise money.

The Thin Blue Paw Foundation has gained four coveted last-minute slots for the London Landmarks Half Marathon on 3 April and is offering them to anyone who can raise a minimum of £300.

The charity supports nearly 300 dogs through financial grants to help cover the cost of their care.

Most remain with their handlers after their working life is over because of the bond between them.

But because they care classed as a working dog – and the specialist nature of what they did – pet insurance firms won’t cover them. Handlers or their new owners cover their daily costs but are unable to pay for major treatments.

The charity helps with grants to cover operations, medication and long-term treatment such as hydrotherapy.

MPs have now taken up the cause, with Labour MP Holly Lynch set to challenge the Association of British Insurers to change its stance – and get government funding to help with premiums.

But in the meantime, charities are the only lifeline and they need donations.

Charity trustee Gemma Wardell said: “We have almost 300 retired police dogs registered with us and have provided financial grants to owners whose beloved pets have needed life-saving surgery, pain relief medication, and therapy to enhance their quality of life.

“It’s an expensive business but we have pledged to be there for all retired police dogs who need us. That’s why we need your help!”

The charity’s four places on the half-marathon are like to attract interest.

Runners training for one of the Blue Ribbon distance events later in the year use the 13-mile London Landmarks race as a training event and part of the course is along the world-class London Marathon route.

The closed-road route passes most of the capital’s major buildings and passes through the Square Mile.

And with more than 50 days to go, there’s plenty of time to find a pair of running shoes and get fit.

Gemma Wardle said: “If you’re a runner or are looking for a new challenge, would you consider taking on the London Landmarks Half Marathon for us? Please help us help these incredible dogs who have given years of their lives to fighting crime and keeping our communities safe.”

To register your interest contact: info@thinbluepaw.org.uk.

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