A regional daily has donated a dog to help a boy with autism after its readers raised £5,000.
The Star, Sheffield, has been running its Pounds for Pups appeal to highlight the work of the Support Dogs charity, which trains dogs to help people with disabilities, autism and those who suffer from seizures.
The Star’s dog, a black Labrador appropriately named Star, will now be given to a Sheffield family.
Star was unveiled at an afternoon tea event organised by the newspaper with Support Dogs.
Star’s trainer Amy Twamley said: “Star came to us as a career change guide dog after it was found she wasn’t suitable for guiding work.
“She’s a busy little dog with a huge personality, quite excitable, and she absolutely loves food and toys, so she’s a lot of fun.
“Star matched with an autism client and that’s perfect for her as she is a bit pushy and really engages with children, meaning she has the right personality to be able to boost confidence and offer lots of support.”
She added: “Dogs like Star make a huge difference to their clients, and already we’re seeing the effects Star’s had on the little boy she’s going to live with, who has really taken to her.
“He hates shops and crowds, but recently on a trip out, he spotted some dog toys in a shop window and insisted his mum take him inside to get some toys for Star, for her next visit, which was lovely.”