TWO dogs rescued from a snowy, roadside as puppies more than two years ago have been brought to the UK in a bid to find them a forever home.

Martha and Maya were the only two dogs that charity workers were able to capture and save when their family was spotted beside a busy road in Bulgaria.

At that time they were living in bushes, dodging speeding cars and faced cruelty from locals– who are thought to have subsequently poisoned the rest of the family.

But after feeding them and gradually gaining their trust, volunteers from the small charity Give Hope to a Dog took the sisters into kennels and appealed for someone to give them a new home.

The charity described them as ‘the cutest puppies ever’– Maya the quiet shy one who followed her bolder sister Martha around– who gained confidence, enjoyed running and playing and learnt new things every day.

But two and half years later, with the charity running out of funds to look after the pair, no owner for them had been found.

Now dog lovers from County Durham have come to their aid.

Christine Kipling, from Bishop Auckland, said: “I run my own humble rescue from home and have worked with many dogs and rescues from overseas.

“I put my head in my hands with despair when I received the news that funds had run out and they were at risk of being put back out on the streets in Bulgaria to fend for themselves.

"Knowing they couldn't stay there any more I felt I had to do something for these two lovely girls.”

Within 24 hours of hearing that the duo needed to move Ms Kipling launched a fundraising appeal on her Facebook page Deliverance.

She sold items that had been donated for the cause and added her own Christmas money to the pot to get the £670 needed to pay for Martha and Maya to be transported to the UK.

She teamed up with friend Pauline Wilson, who runs rescue organisation NASSL (National Animal Sanctuaries Support League), and they managed to find them accommodation on a farm near Darlington.

They will continue to be cared for until a new permanent home can be found for them.

Ms Kipling said: “I’ve been raising funds and following their story for two and a half years but hadn’t met them until they got here, I was so excited to be able to meet them and try to help.

“They have a lovely warm kennel with two meals a day, endless cuddles and two walks in the countryside.

“Despite all they have been through they still have hope.

"We have done the biggest thing needed by arranging their paperwork and travel by van all the way from Bulgaria, through the Channel Tunnel and up to us in County Durham where they are safe.

“I really feel like now they are in the UK it will be easier to find them a home where they can be loved and looked after together.

"People may have been interested but put off by an overseas dog but I think when potential owners meet them someone will fall for them and want to care for them forever.”

Anyone interested donating food, bedding or funds to help look after the dogs or wants to talk about rehoming them can call either Christine Kipling on 07894-449580 or Pauline Wilson on 07748-268822.