Cardiff based Pet Den manager Liane Shield is to run the Great North Run to raise money and awareness for a charity close to her heart.

Liane Shield

Liane, who manages Cardiff based dog grooming and pampering company, The Pet Den Ltd, will be taking on the world’s largest half marathon to raise vital funds for assistance dog charity Support Dogs.

Support Dogs trains and provides specialist assistance dogs to deliver life changing support children with autism and adults with disabilities and epilepsy.

Says Liane: “My son Jack was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was just nine months old so I know first-hand that the seizures can be very frightening.  Dogs are also a huge part of my personal life as well as business life – I have five in total – and I wanted to run for a charity that linked both areas of my life.  I met Support Dogs at Crufts and saw the incredible work they do training dogs to support people with a variety of medical conditions, including detecting and warning about different types of impending seizures.”

Liane and the Pet Den team of eight runners will join thousands of runners for the Great North Run on 11 September and are hoping to raise in excess of £3,000 for Support Dogs.

Liane is out training every day, usually accompanied by her enthusiastic Cocker Spaniel Heidi sporting her high visibility Support Dogs branded vest.

Says Liane: “We’re also sometimes accompanied by Heidi’s Cockerpoo puppy.  A former North East Pet of the Year in (date), Ava is very pretty and always attracts lots of attention, particularly when she’s in her charity vest, which is great for raising the profile of Support Dogs.”

support dogs

Unfortunately dogs are not allowed to run the course but they will be present to welcome the Pet Den team over the finish line.

This will be the fourth time that Liane has taken part in the GNR but previously it was just for the experience – this time it is serious.

“My previous personal best is two hours and 33 minutes,” says Liane.  “Just to make it interesting some of our sponsors have kindly agreed to sponsorship based on me getting round the course in just 2 hours and ten minutes so the pressure is on!”

Danny Anderson, fundraising manager at Support Dogs said: “We’re delighted that Liane and the Pet Den team are running for Support Dogs.  We are entirely funded through voluntary donations and without the support of our fundraisers we wouldn’t be able to continue our important work, training and providing specialist assistance dogs which make such a huge difference to people’s lives.”

The PetDen is due to launch its first grooming salon later this year at Tesco, Culverhouse Cross, Cardiff with a view to rolling salons out in Tesco stores throughout the country.

To find out more about Support Dogs visit www.supportdogs.org.uk or follow @supportdogsuk on twitter.