Cambodian animal lovers are lacing up donated shoes to run the Virtual London Marathon, in aid of a very deserving cause.
Volunteers from London-based charity NoToDogMeat’s newest shelter in a small Khmer village, 110km from Siem Reap, are taking on the 42km challenge to help raise awareness and funds for the victims of the dog and cat meat trade.
NoToDogMeat is building the brand new Khmer Paws Protection shelter, which will be run by school teacher and animal lover Chantha and his volunteer team of local students.
On Sunday 3rd October, Marathon day, 22 of them will take part, proudly wearing their charity t-shirts, to help change attitudes and foster more compassion for dogs and cats.
But it hasn’t been easy. Many of the students only owned a pair of flip-flops, so we quickly got together some packages of trainers, t-shirts and other goodies to help ensure a fun and safe event.
In Cambodia, the ‘pot and pan’ man comes round exchanging a plastic bucket for villagers’ dogs.
Unlike Siem Reap which has agreed to help ban dog meat, Phnom Penh, the capital, is full of dog meat restaurants and despite its high price, men and women get drunk and feast on stolen pets and strays. Police can easily be bribed, so that makes lawmaking hard. After campaigning successfully for legislation in Siem Reap, we have been working quietly behind the scenes and formed a partnership close to the Thai border, where dogs are often trafficked in horrific conditions.
When we told Chantha that our teams want to run for the dogs and cats in Cambodia, he immediately said he would also run with 10 of his students. Just like our Team in China, our new friends in Cambodia are devoted to bringing change.
We were really touched by their dedication and that they too will #Run4TheDogs. This brings us to hope that activists in Asia want to change. Our Cambodian Team will join our runners from Australia, Singapore, China, UK and the USA.
Find out more about the runners we have in this year’s marathon here: Meet Our NoToDogMeat Marathon Team Heroes 2021
Please donate to their fundraisers here: Notodogmeat London Marathon 2021 fundraising for NoToDogMeat Foundation on JustGiving
In other news: South Korean President Moon finally makes a statement to say it is time to ban dog meat (read our blog) and please sign Janet’s petition to make sure he is good to his word: South Korea President Moon Declares It May Be Time to Say NoToDogMeat