Two dog-loving friends have cooked up their own tasty dog treats to raise money to support Blue Cross, the animal rehoming centre in Thirsk.

Ruben Putt and Addison Grange, Year 10 students at Richmond School and Sixth Form College, were keen to support Blue Cross and Ruben came up with the idea of making and selling dog biscuits.  The charity is very close to their hearts as they are both animal lovers and Ruben’s dog Benny, an English Bull Terrier Cross, came from Blue Cross aged four in 2016, so he wanted to give something back to thank them for the joy that he has brought his family.

Ruben initially found a recipe online and then adapted it with additional ingredients, the main ones being; plain flour, vegetable oil and water. Their small and large bone-shaped biscuits are available in four flavours – peanut butter, doggie chocolate chip, veggie stock or beef stock.  The biscuits keep up to a month and are suitable for freezing.  The friends sell the biscuits in packs of 5 for £2.50 or 10 for £5.00, with a special half-price offer for first-time purchases. So far, they have raised £122 for Blue Cross.

Ruben and Addison said: “We have really enjoyed spending our spare time making dog biscuit treats and as animal lovers we really wanted to support Blue Cross as they do so much to care for animals, including dogs, cats and ponies.  Animal welfare is so important to us and we want to encourage others who are thinking of getting a dog or cat to consider rehoming one from Blue Cross.”

Clients have included dog-owning friends and families, teachers and others who have heard of their offer by word-of-mouth. Customer Tom Braham, Assistant Headteacher said: “My dog Tina, who is a Poochon, absolutely loves Ruben and Addison’s biscuits. As soon as she sees one she becomes very excited – she likes all the flavours but peanut butter is her favourite!”

The local Blue Cross Centre is at Thirsk and, each year, thousands of cats, dogs, small pets and horses turn to their animal hospitals, clinics and rehoming services for treatment to find them the happy homes they deserve. In addition, their education and behaviour teams prepare future pet owners to take responsibility to look after their pets. Jenny Day, Volunteer Coordinator at Blue Cross, said: “The team at Blue Cross Thirsk are so impressed with the initiative these two young people have shown, and the empathy they have evidenced for the dogs in our care. Life in kennels is very stressful for our dogs, and this act of kindness from Ruben and Addison has shown they understand this, and wanted to do something positive to help them. Thank you both for generously raising money in support of our centre, and the dogs thoroughly enjoyed the biscuits too!”

Addison and Ruben both spend a lot of time caring for their pets. Addison has 9-month old Daisy and 2-year-old Rex, both Labrador Retrievers, JR, a 10-year-old Jack Russell and a cat called Elsa.  As well as Benny, his English Bull Terrier Cross, Ruben has eight fish, including ghost carp, golden carp, shubunkin, sarasa comet and golden orfe.

The dedicated duo have plans to continue with their fundraising and other projects they are planning include a bake sale for Blue Cross, which they hope other students may be able to support them with by baking items to sell.

Jenna Potter, Headteacher, concluded: “I was so thrilled to hear about Ruben and Addison’s wonderful fundraising project – what an imaginative and clever idea which has clearly been very popular with their canine customers!  It is so heartening to hear of young people doing so much good in the community, for important charities such as Blue Cross, but also setting a great example to other students about giving something back and supporting others.”