INTERNATIONAL rugby player Opeti Fonua was among the dog lovers who stepped out in aid of a friendship dog charity which visits elderly and vulnerable people in their homes.

More than 130 people took part in the Kielder Dog Walk to raise money for Wag and Company North East Friendship Dogs.

Newcastle Falcon player and Tongan international Opeti Fonua took part along with Wag and Company’s first approved volunteer Diane Snowsill, who regularly visits 88-year-old Sheila Moody, from Sherburn Village, near Durham, with her dog Eddie.

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Mrs Moody said: “Diane and Eddie’s visit is the highlight of my week I am unable to get out of the house anymore due to and various other conditions which means although I am dog lover I can no longer keep one myself.

“I don’t know what I would have done without Eddie and Diane it’s been a huge source of support and has helped me maintain my independence.”

The charity launched in 2016 and has more than 100 volunteers visiting people at home.