AN ANIMAL lover who has spent years helping others is now on the lookout for a little help herself.

Susan Bowman, from Blackburn, has been an avid supporter of The Cinnamon Trust, a national charity which aims to keep elderly and terminally ill people and their pets together, for over five years.

But now due to deteriorating health, the 68-year-old is seeking a little support from her local community to help look after her beloved dog, Toby.

Speaking about the Jack Russell cross Shih Tzu, she said: "I've had Toby for five years now, I adopted him through the Cinnamon Trust after his owner passed away.

"He's my best friend and an incredible dog, but unfortunately it has got to the stage where I need a little help myself.

"He's not getting the long walks that he deserves due to my ill health, and he is just so full of energy and life."

Ms Bowman's health has considerably worsened over the last two-to-three months, with bad asthma limiting how far and how long she can walk.

But the prospect of losing her best friend is something Ms Bowman refuses to contemplate.

She said: "It would break my heart for us to be separated as he is such a huge part of my life. I was just wondering if there were some kind people out there who may be able to help by offering half-an-hour here and there so he can get a proper walk."

Currently Miss Bowman is only able to walk eight-year-old Toby, to the bottom of her street and back again, but luckily she has a back garden so when the weather is good he can play out during the day.

She also has a long hallway in her Blackburn home, so is able to throw Toby's ball for him to fetch.

As a specialist charity, the Cinnamon Trust's main aim is to relieve anxiety and problems face by elderly people and their pets, saving human sadness and animal suffering.

A spokesman said: "It is widely acknowledged that pets can positively benefit the well-being of elderly owners. For many elderly people living on their own, their pets are their reason for living.

"They are constant companions - on hand 24 hours a day, every day, comforting, loving and protecting their owners - not only from outside threats, but also offering the more subtle form of protection from loneliness and despair.

"The Trust’s primary objective is to respect and preserve the treasured relationship between owners and their pets."

If you think you can help Ms Bowman and Toby, visit or call 01736 757 900 and contact the help team.