Long term NAWT supporter Matt Dorber, 33, is running this year’s London Marathon to raise vital funds for the animals in our care.
The race, which takes place on April 22, will see Matt undertake his third marathon to date.
Matt, from Street, re-homed his cat Alice our Somerset centre in Langport back in 2012, and has decided to run in aid of the charity because it does not get any money from the Government.
“I found out about NAWT when I was looking to get a pet, I always wanted to re-home rather than get a kitten,” he said.
Matt and his parents' dog Barney
“Heaven’s Gate was my local shelter, so I went along and my Alice stood out, she’s got beautiful markings and I remember her being so calm and friendly. She’s still with me five years on and is such a little character.”
Matt trains individually and as part of a running club set up by his employer – this weekend alone he will run 20 miles in preparation.
He added: “Training is hard work, but it’s given me a chance to see some lovely parts of the countryside.
“I chose to fundraise for the NAWT because it’s different. It stands out to me because there’s a real community feel, everyone works together and everyone is always so friendly.
“When the snow hit last week, staff stayed on site at Heaven’s Gate to continue to look after the animals – I think things like that probably don’t get the appreciation they should.
“They’re all so committed to looking after the animals and you never get the sense that any of them see it as a chore.”
More about Matt
Matt is a seasoned runner and took part in a number of fun runs growing up – however as he got older her sadly stopped taking part in the sport he used to love.
He explains: “As I got older I stopped running, I had a few anxiety issues and gave it all up.
“Then one day I went out for a quick jog to clear my head and found I was completely out of breath after half a mile of running down the road!
“I decided to get some proper advice and help, followed a couch to 5k program and just gradually increased my targets. In 2016 I decided with my friend that we were going to run Barcelona Marathon.
“As we both have cats (my cat Alice, his cats are Sooty and Diddy) from Heaven’s Gate, we decided we should raise money for them in the process.
“We raised over £1,300 and it was a real motivation to keep going during the race knowing how much we’d raised and how kind people had been, plus knowing how much it would help NAWT!”
Alongside fundraising for the NAWT, Matt also volunteers at our Somerset kennel every Monday.