PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A local nonprofit is asking volunteers to lace up their sneakers and run for shelter animals.

The Monster Milers, a Philly-based organization that connects runners with homeless dogs as running companions, is hosting its kickoff fundraiser, the Rescue Run 5K, this September.

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“We are an all-volunteer organization and this race is going to be our first big kick-off fundraiser. Specifically, the funds will be used to keep this all moving. Let’s be frank – it’s going to cover not-so-glamorous stuff like liability insurance and our volunteer management software,” said Carrie Maria, Monster Milers’ CEO and Founder, in a release.

The nonprofit, which regularly pairs its more than 330 volunteers with shelter pups for runs that range from half a mile to eight miles depending on both the human and the dog, helps keep shelter animals from getting bored, anxious and depressed by taking them out of their cages for physical activity. The animals are all pre-screened and come from either the PAWS Wellness Clinic in Grays Ferry, the PAWS Adoption Center in Old City or the Street Tails Animal Rescue in Northern Liberties. Runs take place throughout the city and in nearby parks.

According to Maria, the organization is hoping to start a new initiative that would pull animals directly from city shelters for fostering, but that requires funding to get off the ground. Maria hopes the Rescue Run will be a springboard for that mission.

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(credit: Hannah Close)

(credit: Hannah Close)

The 2013 Monster Milers Rescue Run is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29 in the Navy Yard. Following the race, runners and spectators can meet adoptable dogs, munch on treats from food trucks and meet local vendors and rescue organizations. The race costs $30 in advance and $35 on race day.

To register for the Rescue Run, visit:

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