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Tuesday, March 5, 2013


THE North East veterinary star of CBBC's Dick 'N' Dom Go Wild and Junior Vets series is preparing to pound the streets of Edinburgh in May, taking part in the annual half-marathon in a bid to raise money for local animal rescue charities.  
Ponteland-based vet Jason Atherton, a director of Westway Veterinary Group, has starred in the last two series alongside the popular TV presenters, as they challenge young volunteers to help fix wounded and poorly pets.
Jason is running the marathon with his wife Jill, who owns mobile vet service Vet2Home. This will be their fifth Edinburgh marathon and the pair aims to beat last year's fundraising total of £2,000.
Accompanied by some of their five dogs, the couple, who also have five children, clock up around 60 training miles a week. As seasoned marathon, half-marathon and fun runners, the pair have raised thousands of pounds for animal rescues over the last few years.   
Jason said: "This will be our fifth Edinburgh run and we are aiming to split the sponsorship money and help as many small charities as possible this year.
"When you work with animals some of them really tug at your heart-strings, particularly the ones in need of a new home, which is what prompted us to pull on our trainers again. 
 "Sadly, the North East has a big problem with stray and unwanted animals and the smaller charities, which are all run by volunteers, do a brilliant job. They are really dependent on donations and fund-raising activities so we are hoping the kind-hearted people of the North East will step up and help us raise as much money as possible.
"Everyone is feeling the pinch a bit this year but we have already had children donating their pocket money and clients pledging their sponsorship at our surgeries.  We are grateful for every penny, and it will all go towards helping abandoned and injured animals."
The charities that will benefit this year are Greyhound Rescue North East, Adopt a Dog North East, Brysons Animal Refuge, The People's Animal Rescue and Rehoming Team (PARRT) Farplace Animal Rescue, North East Springer Spaniel Rescue and the Westways Stray Fund.
Donations can be made in person or over the phone at any of the ten Westway surgeries across the North East.
Via Email.