A DOG found abandoned and wandering streets in Spain is proving to be an ‘out of this world’ hit with pupils at a Barry primary school.

Breton spaniel, Laika is now officially employed as Palmerston Primary’s school dog where the former hunting dog, who had her tail removed, provides cwtches for children and enables them to give pet care.

Laika, thought to be around six years old, was named after the Soviet space dog, a stray mongrel from Moscow, who became one of the first animals in space.

But Barry’s Laika was rescued by GPAR – a charity-funded refuge based in Rute, in Andalucia.

The charity aims to help animals abandoned, or in need, by finding them caring homes.

With the help of many volunteers, Laika travelled to the UK with pet transport company, For the Love of Cats and Dogs – a charity run by Linda Jean, best known for her C5 television appearances on Bargain Loving Brits in the Sun.

Palmerston Primary school business manager, Yvonne Hawkins, spotted Laika and then her journey to Barry was planned.

She needed inoculations, a passport, and then a process called traces where she went through the appropriate checks to travel.

Ms Hawkins, 53, of Barry, said: “I think she was abandoned because she wasn’t very good at hunting.

“She arrived on October 31, 2014 and instantly made herself at home on the sofa.

“A Home Office official came to visit.

“They had to check she had all the right documents and a passport.

“Her life had changed completely – becoming the character that sleeps in the sunshine in the living room window.

“She didn’t play for two years until she realised the balls and teddy were hers.

“In 2019, after training and risk assessment, she got the go-ahead to come to school every day.

“Laika is now front of house in the office for all the children without allergies to visit.

“She is the kindest, loyal, lovable dog, and the children adore her.

“They come to the office for visits and cwtches, and they read to her - and the odd treat is much appreciated.”

Nine-year-old Ffion Ryan and her sister, Isabella Ryan are just two of the youngsters who visit Laika.

Ffion said: “She’s really nice.

“It’s really good because not many schools have pets.”

Isabella, seven, added: “She’s really soft.”

For information, visit protectoraderute.org or email fortheloveofdogsandcats@hotmail.com