Bellingham Chuckanut 50k Runner Raises Funds for Animal Earthquake Victims

For Immediate Release:
March 16, 2023

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Bellingham, Wash.

Local resident Emily Thoms will run the Chuckanut 50k race on Saturday—her first-ever ultra-endurance trail race—to help raise money for PETA’s Global Compassion Fund, which is supporting the group’s rescue efforts in Turkey and Syria following the catastrophic February 6 earthquake and its powerful aftershocks.

“The recent Syria-Turkey earthquakes were devastating not only to people but also to animals, leaving many traumatized, injured, and forced to fend for themselves because their humans had died,” says Thoms, who has raised more than $9,000, far exceeding her goal of $5,000. “I chose to fundraise for this cause because PETA has workers on the ground in Turkey, where animals are in urgent need of help and can’t wait.”

PETA’s Global Compassion Fund helps rescuers respond to animal emergencies around the globe at a moment’s notice. Rescue teams in Turkey have climbed into collapsed buildings to find injured animals, whisked starving animals off the street, and even used a crane to reach a cat who had been stuck in a fourth-floor apartment for 12 days, desperate for food and water (video here). More animals’ stories are available here.

Animal protection is also a career for Thoms, who works in the Development Department at the PETA Foundation. Passionate about animals from a young age, Thoms went vegetarian in high school after seeing an undercover PETA investigation into a pig farm. She eventually went vegan and today fuels herself during races with energizing, protein-packed vegan cookies baked by her partner. She credits her parents with passing on their love of running to her: “I followed in their footsteps, literally,” she says. “My mom, who is now in her 60s, is still finding great joy and fulfillment through running.”

PETA—whose motto reads, “Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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