MADI, the adorable pooch, is settling into her new life as a “therapy dog” at a children’s nursery – less than a year after being left to starve in a dustbin in Romania.

Madi and five other new-born puppies were dumped in a shopping bag, inside a freezing bin, in Targu Neamt last November.

But after a rescue mission, involving a four-day lorry journey, she is now settling into a new life after being adopted by a family in the village of Newby, near Middlesbrough.

And such is her gentle nature that she’s been given an official role interacting with children at Zizu’s Nursery, in Middlesbrough town centre, with plans to also use her in hospitals and care homes.

“She’s perfect for the role because she’s very calm, adores people, she’s very fluffy and enjoys being petted,” said owner, mum-of-four Nicci Knight.

“She’s always excited about coming into the nursery and it’s done wonders for her confidence after all she’s been through. The children love her, and she loves the children,” added Nicci, who works as operations director of the nursery.

The rescue was organised by a small, independent charity, called Dogs in Distress, set up by two dedicated North-East women, Carol Hewett and Jenny Laidler, who met through their love of animals.

They worked with charity workers in Romania to bring Madi and three other puppies from the litter on a journey covering more than 1,700 miles.

The other puppies have also been re-homed with North-East families: Otis lives in Hutton Rudby; Teddy has been adopted in Stokesley; and Georgie is now in Redcar.

Two remaining puppies from the litter were also rescued – Daisy is now living in Cannock, Staffordshire, and Kima is with a family in Germany.

“It’s beyond belief to see them so loved and happy, and having the lives they deserve,” said Carol.

And Madi’s role as a therapy dog at the children’s nursery means she’ll never go short of attention, whether she’s at home or at work.

“From being left for dead in a rubbish bin thousands of miles away, she’s surrounded by love everywhere she looks,” said Nicci.