Amy Jamieson
October 27, 2011 01:00 PM

When Méa goes for a run with one of her three dogs, she chooses wisely.

“I run with [Rottweiler] Bear because he’s the slowest,” she says with a laugh. “I can keep a steady pace with him, more of a jog.”

None of the singer’s five pets, which also include cats Mellow and Journey, and mutts Tango and Pepper, will be running with her on Nov. 6 when she takes on the ING New York City Marathon. But, they and countless other rescues from North Shore Animal League America will be cheering her on from the sidelines.

She’s hitting the pavement with 50 other animal lovers who are hoping to raise $200,000 for the New York-based animal charity. It isn’t the first time the singer has worked with NSAL; last year, she headed up the Tour for Life to spread the message of animal adoption.

“I definitely have to say animals have brought joy to my life and balance as well,” she tells PEOPLE. “I’ll do anything that I can to help North Shore’s efforts in saving thousands of lives that would otherwise be euthanized because of lack of shelter space.”

She’s been training for the 26.2-mile trek for the past two months (at the Mount Vernon trail when she’s home in Virginia and at Central Park when she’s in New York) and she’ll do her best to cross the finish line next month, even if that means walking for part of the race.

“I’ve never done anything close to 20 miles – I’m just a little concerned about the old legs,” she jokes. “I’m not quite a runner. I think I’ll be fine if I’m allowed to walk, which I am. I don’t have a [goal] time for this particular race – it’s just to get through it. I [may] make it in 12 hours!”

Méa and the North Shore Animal League’s team have raised over $100,000 so far. To help them reach their $200,000 goal, click here.

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