Norwich children give festive gifts to dogs in search of new homes

Unwanted dogs in need of new homes were given some extra special festive treats this Christmas thanks to the generosity of some schoolchildren.

Members of Thorpe House Langley Preparatory School's animal action club SOFA (Speaking Out For Animals) visited Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Frettenham just before Christmas.

They visited the sanctuary with gifts including 20 shoe boxes filled with dog treats and toys and donations of �45.

This included �10 from pupil Anton Shapland, who had donated his pocket money.

The collection was the idea of 10-year-old Daisy Campbell.

She was inspired by the school's involvement in sending shoe boxes filled with gifts to children in Novi Sad, Serbia, via the Operation Christmas Child project organised by Samaritan's Purse.

Teacher Sue Cole said: 'The children loved their visit but some of them were visibly moved by the fact that so many lovely dogs are unwanted. They found it hard to believe that people could be so unkind.'

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Daisy said: 'An animal is a life and I don't think it's right that people can be so cruel.'

Fellow pupil Alice Hornby said: 'Every living thing deserves a home and to be loved.

'The rescued dogs who are living at Hillside just wait and hope for a loving person to come along.'

Hillside looks after 40 to 50 dogs at any one time, and last Tuesday the children met many of them including four-year-old Taggy and two-year-old Brock.

Tracey Rowe, from Hillside, said: 'The children's interest means so much to Hillside and the dogs. Their thoughtfulness and the fact that they remember the dogs is wonderful.'

There are 11 members in SOFA which is led by eight-year-old Alec Rijks.

All of the members are aged between seven and 10.

For more information about SOFA visit For more information about Hillside Animal Sanctuary visit

Are you doing something to raise funds for charity? Contact reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email