A rescue dog called Pip is the face of a new chocolate bar being launched by an East Lancashire animal sanctuary.

Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary in Edenfield in conjunction with The Chocolate Cafe in Ramsbottom are launching the tasty treat to raise money for the charity, which has taken a financial hit during the coronavirus crisis as they have been unable to have visitors to the site.

Rescue dog Pip

Rescue dog Pip

President of Bleakholt and Hits Radio host Gemma Atkinson said: “This combines my two of my favourite things – animals and chocolate.

"It’s great that a local business like The Chocolate Cafe is supporting a local charity and they are working together to help raise money.

"I have two dogs, Norman and Ollie, who are loved to bits and I know the good work Bleakholt does with all their animals.

"Pip is a lovely dog who unfortunately struggles in a home but can live out a brilliant life at Bleakholt.”

Karen with Pip, Gemma with Pickle and Phil

Karen with Pip, Gemma with Pickle and Phil

Volunteers at Bleakholt had tried to rehome Pip, a Lhasa Apso cross Bichon six times, but due to behavioural difficulties he has been returned to the sanctuary.

The six-year-old will probably live out his life with other dogs who can’t be rehomed, along with horses, donkeys, pigs, hens and other animals who reside at the 55 acre site.

The Chocolate Cafe owner Phil Hargreaves, who makes all his own chocolate on site, said: “I think it’s important businesses support the local community and local charities.

“My wife is an animal behaviourist and when Bleakholt asked for a hamper donation for a raffle, we wanted to do more.

“Lockdown has been hard for charities but hopefully this can help.”

The new chocolate bars with Pip's face on them are now on sale.

The bars will feature a different animal every few months to promote the good work Bleakholt does with animals in the community.

Karen with Pip, Gemma with Pickle and Phil

Karen with Pip, Gemma with Pickle and Phil

Sanctuary manager Karen Weed said: “Pip has been with us a while and we have tried to rehome him but he keeps coming back but every time he returns, he comes in wagging his tail and he is a joy to look after.

“It is tough times for everyone so for The Chocolate Cafe to do this, it means a lot to us.

"It helps to promote the work we do at Bleakholt while also enjoying quality chocolate.”

Gemma Atkinson with rescue dog, Pickle

Gemma Atkinson with rescue dog, Pickle

Chair of Trustee Board Jackie Cook added: “It is really important as a Sanctuary to partner with our local businesses and support each other.

“We are extremely grateful to The Chocolate Cafe and Philip for this wonderful support to raise much needed funds.”

The limited-edition chocolate bars are available from The Chocolate Cafe and from Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary priced £4 each or three for £10.

For more information visit: bleakholt.org/shop/ or chocolate-cafe.co.uk/bleakholt-bar