GENEROUS Basingstoke residents have raised thousands of pounds for local animal centres.

The money was raised in the borough for the ‘Santa Paws’ campaign, which was run by charity Support Adoption for Pets.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of homeless pets and support local animal shelters over the festive period.

Pet owners were asked to either donate 50p to pay for a pet’s Christmas dinner or to buy an animal toy or treat.

The annual campaign is supported by Pets at Home and the Basingstoke store was responsible for raising a grand total of £4,273.79, all of which will go to help Cats Protection Basingstoke and Hart Wildlife Rescue.

Amy Wilson, charity manager at Support Adoption For Pets, said: “It’s down to the hard work and enthusiasm of Pets at Home customers and colleagues in Basingstoke that we were able to raise so much money.

“We’d like to say a massive thank-you to everyone who came in store and supported the campaign, helping us to raise over £4,000.

“The 2013 Santa Paws initiative was the first time we have introduced the ‘donate a pet dinner’ initiative which has enabled us nationally to donate 553,120 pet dinners over the course of the appeal.

“In addition, we were also able to raise £291,674 which will go to helping a host of UK pet re-homing centres.”