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The 'secret Santa' for homeless dogs in Cornwall this Christmas

The 'secret Santa' for homeless dogs in Cornwall this Christmas

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 2:28pm 25th September 2019. (Updated at 2:51pm 25th September 2019)

Meet Balto - the therapy husky who is doing a 'secret Santa' for homeless dogs in Cornwall this Christmas.

He was found stray at eight months old in the Yorkshire area and was rescued from being put to sleep, with just two days to spare.

The Siberian husky pup was adopted by his owner Sandra after he 'stole her heart' and now lives a happy life near Leedstown, in west Cornwall.

Balto the husky

Balto is a therapy dog through Therapy Dogs Nationwide, that means he has been assessed and is suitable to make visits to vulnerable people.

He goes to places such as schools, day centres for the elderly and psychiatric hospitals to offer support.

He even has his own Facebook page - Balto the Pawsome Therapy Dog - which has over 2,000 followers from all around the world.

Balto the husky

Sandra and Balto like helping people and last year noticed how many rough sleepers there were who had dogs in the Penzance area.

So they rallied round and collected donations to give to people on the streets as presents.

This year they have decided to do the same and are trying to make it even bigger and better. 

Balto has been collecting items and prizes from various events which he can then pass on to dogs who need them more over the festive season.

Balto the husky

"I saw in Penzance that quite a lot of homeless people had dogs, and whatever you think of them, they worship their dogs.

"So I kept some of the stuff that In was saving and that went down so well. They were in need of food, harnesses and things like that.

"We've done it again this year and we've upped our game to get a wider range of stuff, we're hoping that whatever people need they'll be able to get it this year.

"So there are leads, collars, coats, harnesses, poo bags are always handy, foldable water bowls, toys for the dogs.

"It's only small, it's just me and him, throughout the year we go to fun dog shows and sometimes they give away toys in raffles or as prizes, so I put boxes out and asked Balto's friends to donate.

"But we have got quite a lot this year thanks to people's generosity."

Sandra, Balto's owner

Balto the husky

Sandra and Balto are welcoming any donations for their secret Santa - you can get in contact via the Facebook page.

Balto also enjoys going to visit children in schools.

"You can see the smiles on their faces as soon as they arrive, children just love talking to him and playing with him.

"One little boy was scared of him at the start of term, and at the end of the term he was cuddling him, he ran off down the corridor shouting 'Miss, Miss, I've cuddled Balto' which is just lovely."

Sandra, Balto's owner

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