A rescue dog whose life was turned around is now spreading the joy to care homes and hospitals across the North East.

Flossy, a crossbreed, had a difficult go of life as she was given up by her owners and taken into the care of Brysons Animal Shelter in Gateshead.

However, her luck changed after veterinary nurse Amy Bevan, who works at Westway Veterinary Group's main hospital in West Road, Newcastle, adopted the pup two years ago after falling in love with the pooch.

Despite her initially timid nature, Flossy settled into her new surroundings in Newcastle and has since been working alongside her owner with charity Pets as Therapy.

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The Northern Echo:

The charity utilises volunteers and their temperament-assessed pets to visit establishments such as care homes, hospitals, hospices and schools, and bring smiles to many faces.

Flossy had been given up by her previous owners and was brought into Westway Vets by the Brysons team to be neutered before they could find her a new home.

Much of her coat was shaggy and overgrown and she had huge bald patches from scratching due to a flea allergy.

She was underweight and had never been vaccinated, microchipped or even taken for walks.

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The Northern Echo:

Now, Flossy is unrecognisable from her previous state and owner Ms Bevan said she is always excited to meet care home residents.

Speaking on their work at Dipton Manor Care Home in Dipton, near Stanley, she said: "Some of the residents are so excited and pleased to meet here and Flossy loves the attention.

"Flossy is just happy being given treats and stroked. She likes to lie on the sofa with residents and have her tummy tickled.

“Everyone who meets Flossy thinks she is so lovely, and she is so good with strangers she meets.

"Coming from the background she had and having only given a nervous tail wag when I first met her, it is so lovely seeing her give so much to people she meets. She wasn’t in the best state and it has been such a turnaround in her life.”"

Ms Bevan and Flossy are regular visitors to care homes for elderly people and those suffering from dementia across Tyneside and County Durham.

“I make sure both parties are happy as it is also important to ensure Flossy doesn’t become stressed. But she has the perfect temperament and loves all the attention," she added.

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The Northern Echo:

Mandy Urwin, events coordinator at Dipton Manor Care Home, has organised visits for Amy and Flossy to meet residents.

She said: “When the residents see Amy and Flossy, their faces light up. They love having Flossy on their knee and enjoy stroking her, and they have big smiles on their faces.

“Flossy is adorable with a lovely temperament, and we love her visits to the home.”