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Animal-loving youngster donates birthday presents to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

A thoughtful five-year-old asked her friends to celebrate her birthday by giving presents to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in Old Windsor.

St George’s School pupil Xanthippe Barnes has always loved animals and decided to make the kind gesture to mark her fifth birthday on June 5.

Her friends bought an array of toys, including a squeaky rubber pig, with the youngster handing them over to the charity on Friday.  

Her mother, Clare Barnes, said: “We were talking about how she has lots of toys and we don’t really have space for a lot more and she was saying that when the animals arrive at Battersea they don’t have any toys to play with.

“Battersea is very much a charity she has chosen herself.”

During her visit, Xanthippe got to meet Staffordshire bull terrier Tyson who has been at the centre in Priest Hill for more than three months.

She spent time playing with the 10-year-old pooch while also having a tour of the kennels.

Clare added that her daughter had always wanted a dog of her own but had to wait until her one-year-old sister Henrietta got older.

“She’s just a massive animal fan and just feels so sorry for these dogs that are unwanted and have nobody to play with,” Clare added.

“I’m really proud of her for being so thoughtful.”

Kaye Mughal, centre manager at Battersea Old Windsor, said: “We’re so grateful for any donations we receive into Battersea Old Windsor.

“As a charity, we rely on the generosity of our supporters including Xanthippe and her friends.

“We were so touched by their special gesture and our animals have been thoroughly enjoying the gifts.” 

Tyson is still in need of a forever home.

Visit www.battersea.org.uk for details.

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