Sheffield MP Nick Clegg impressed with Support Dogs charity work

Nick Clegg meets Minta nd dog foster carer Karen Jones
Nick Clegg meets Minta nd dog foster carer Karen Jones
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DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg stayed out of the doghouse when he paid a visit to the Sheffield home of a charity supporter.

The Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam visited the Crosspool home of Karen Jones, a long-standing foster carer for the Support Dogs charity, and trainee support dog Minta.

It provided an opportunity for Mr Clegg to hear for himself how they are the only organisation in the UK to train seizure alert dogs.

He also heard how the charity provides autism and disability assistance dogs.

He said: “I was delighted to be welcomed into Karen’s home to learn more about Support Dogs’ work. It is remarkable what they do to enhance the quality of life for so many people with disabilities.

“Sheffield should be proud to be the home of such an outstanding charity.”

Dog foster carers are vital to the ongoing work of Support Dogs as they look after them at evenings and weekends, when they are not at the training centre.

Minta, an 11-month-old golden labrador, is the fifth dog Karen has fostered for the charity. She will keep her until she is matched up in a partnership.

Karen said: “She’ll then head off to help change the life of somebody with a disability.

“At that point our bit of the job is done and we will have to say goodbye – there are usually one or two tears at that point.”

Rita Howson, Support Dogs head of operations, said: “Any support from high-profile figures can be a lifesaver for small charities like ours.

“We were pleased to get the chance to tell Mr Clegg about our work and he was genuinely interested. That could prove helpful as we look to develop our services.

“We have pretty much outgrown our current centre and are desperately trying to raise funds to fund the purchase of something more suitable.”