A MUM of two is starting a campaign to help her disabled daughter get the ability dog that she desperately needs to help her live a more normal life.

Debbie Beer is hoping to raise £3,000 to contribute towards the training of a new dog for her five-year-old daughter Poppy who has Down Syndrome.

Ability dogs have now become more common with dogs being trained to work with autistic, disabled and deaf people. They all wear coats that give them the same privileges as guide dogs and are allowed inside restaurants and shops.

The ability dog that is being trained for Poppy will allow her to have more freedom as it will stop near roads and even improve her reading skills.

Debbie said: “Poppy has no understanding of danger or road awareness and she can run off at any moment.

“She will be attached to the dog and if she tries to run away the dog will lie down to keep her safe. They are bombproof and Willow, who is in the picture and the dog we had on trial, could even unload the washing machine.

“Also, studies have proved that children enjoy reading to dogs for longer periods of time, which in turn significantly improves speech and reading skills.”

It will also be able to go with her to her school at Wyndham Park. These dogs are so well trained they even go to toilet on command.

Trained by the charity Woofability, Debbie hopes that the new dog will be ready by the end of the year and the family are already excited by the prospect but first they have to raise £3,000 to go towards the cost of training.

To hit the target, Debbie and Poppy's Dad Julian, have organised a 'Woofathon' event at Moors Valley Country Park on May 9. It is planned to be a 2 mile fun walk, run, ride, scoot or wheelchair around the park and will start at 11am.

Debbie added: “Bring your kids, friends, grannies, dogs and share the opportunity to meet some of the incredible Woofability dogs too. Don't forget to bring a picnic!”

To sponsor or donate to Poppy's cause visit mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/poppy.