AN EIGHT-YEAR-OLD boy from Pontypool is raising money to create Christmas shoeboxes for rescue dogs.

Toby Malson has wanted to find a way to help rescue dogs ever since his family adopted Tara, their second rescue dog, two years ago.

Gareth Malson, Toby’s dad, explained that Toby has always had a soft spot for animals.

He said: “Toby’s always had an interest in animals, especially animals that have been rescued. This year he sat down with us and said that he wanted to make up shoeboxes for rescue dogs.

“He’s a very caring boy, and he’s grown up around animals all his life. Two years ago, we adopted a dog from Romania. It was difficult at first as she was very scared and shy because of its past, but now her and Toby are inseparable.

“The shelters have been really supportive. Toby’s already been booked in to visit the rescue dogs.

“Toby is a very passionate, loving boy and we and his older brother Liam are doing all we can to help Toby on his mission.”

Toby aimed to raise £100, but passed that target in a matter of days.

The shelters that he is donating to are All Creatures Great and Small Animal Sanctuary, Opt to Adopt Newport City Dogs Home, and Blue Cross Newport Rehoming and Advice Unit.

As well as raising money to be able to make up the shoeboxes, Toby is also looking for items to be donated.

Ideal donations would be fleece blankets, towels, treats, toys, dental sticks or tinned food. For donations to be accepted, they must be unopened or in their original packaging.

Donations can be dropped off at The Boat Yard tea rooms, Osbourne Lodge Nursery, or via Rachael Pugh at Shelite personal training classes at Penygarn Heights, all in Pontypool.

Toby said that he decided to take on the project after watching a TV programme on rescue dogs.

He said: “One night I was watching TV with my family and there was a programme about rescue dogs. After that, I decided I wanted to help them in local shelters.

“I had made shoeboxes for homeless people and their pets last year, so I wanted to do something like that.

“I would ask that people help out in any way they can. I’ve got a fundraising page and we are collecting donations for the shoeboxes.

“I would like to thank everyone who has made a donation for their generosity.”

You can view keep up to date with Toby's project by searching for 'Toby's fundraising page' on Facebook, or you can donate by visiting