May 1, 2022 12.00 pm

Animal lover running Grimsby 10K in husky costume to thank dogs for help in lockdown

Running for a charity that helps pets caught up in global human conflict

An animal lover who credits her dogs for helping her get through difficult lockdown moments will be running the Great Grimsby 10K dressed as a husky, raising money for charity.

Mel Hannam will be embarking on this year’s Ørsted Great Grimsby 10K while dressed head to toe in a husky costume, as a tribute to the power of dogs on our mental health, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Saturday, June 5, she will be running the streets in the costume to raise money for War Paws, a charity that helps pets caught up in human conflicts across the world – including the current situation in Ukraine.

The charity aims to alleviate pain and suffering for animals in hostile environments and areas of conflict, providing welfare and rabies control programmes as well as offering food and medical supplies.

Mel’s fundraiser has a £500 goal and you can donate by visiting the GoFundMe page here.

Mel racing with one of her trusty huskies. | Photo: www.mickhallphotos.com

Mel said she was inspired to do the challenge by her own husky dogs at home: “Like many people, I felt very isolated, lonely and anxious during the COVID lockdowns but my huskies stopped me from getting too depressed.

“They keep me on my toes, make me smile and sometimes make me tear my hair out but they mean the absolute world to me. Recently, I saw a photograph of someone literally carrying their elderly husky as they fled their home in Ukraine.

“This was followed by dozens of touching images, people with cats, parrots, all kinds of beloved pets desperately trying to take them out of danger. For someone whose doggos are her family, that really resonated with me.

“Then I began reading about the brave people going into Ukraine to rescue animals separated from their owners in the chaos and to take supplies to animal shelters, zoos and parks that had been left with no food or medicines for the animals they were caring for.

“I really wanted to do something to help and hit on this slightly mad idea!”