Six-year-old selling soft toys to raise animal welfare cash

Alyssa Bennett took a long time to decide which of her furry friends she would donate to charity, Picture: Ian Rutherford
Alyssa Bennett took a long time to decide which of her furry friends she would donate to charity, Picture: Ian Rutherford
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A KIND-hearted schoolgirl is auctioning off her beloved soft toys all in the aid of animal welfare.

Little Alyssa Bennett from Portobello was inspired to raise funds for the Scottish Society for the Protection of Animals after a leaflet was posted through her mum’s letterbox in February.

At home from school during the freak snowstorm brought in by the Beast from the East, the six-year-old decided that she needed to help the forlorn-looking dog, Snoop, that was pictured on the pamphlet.

Proud mum Anna, 37, said: “Alyssa has always loved 
animals, she’s crazy about dogs and loves horses. She’s always talked about wanting to raise money to help and as soon as she saw the picture of Snoop on the flyer, her mind was made up.”

The Duddingston Primary pupil set herself the task of herding up her much-loved menagerie of soft toys and had some big decisions to make about which of her favourites would make the cut. Anna said her daughter struggled with the choice: “She definitely changed her mind a few times on a couple of the toys but she always put them back in the giving away pile.”

Among the cuddly toy collection that have been earmarked for donation are a multi-coloured unicorn, a meerkat, a white kitten and a Sven reindeer from the film Frozen.

Generous Alyssa initially wanted to sell each toy for £1 to reach her target but soon came up with the scheme to gift a toy with every donation to reach her target of £100.

She will donate any of the unclaimed stuffed animals to charity.

Tucked into a bag in her bedroom ready to start their new lives Alyssa’s collection will help dogs like Snoop get well and eventually find new forever homes – just like her toys.

On a recent visit to the SSPCA rescue centre in Balerno Alyssa tried to persuade her mum to take all the dogs home with them.

Already the proud owner of a collie/husky mix called Poppy that she shares with her grandmother, Alyssa is ever hopeful that she can add to her pack, but her mum thinks one real-life dog in the house is enough for now.

Alyssa has ambitions of being a vet when she grows up but meanwhile enjoys horse riding every week in Longniddry and cooking up plans to raise money for needy 
animals.

Anna said: “Alyssa has a really kind nature and wants to make sure everyone is okay. I’m really proud of her, she’s a lovely girl and always wants to help animals.

“She has lots of patience and has such a big heart.”

Scottish SPCA Superintendent
Sharon Comrie said: “We were touched to hear about Alyssa who saw Snoop the dog on our appeal.”

To donate text £1 to 70070 or go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/anna-bennett10