Monday 18 December 2017

Cristiano Ronaldo steps in to save 80 dogs in struggling Portuguese shelter

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Mark Critchley

Cristiano Ronaldo has stepped in to help 80 dogs housed in a shelter facing financial difficulties, according to reports in his home country of Portugal.

The Real Madrid forward, who turned 32 last week, has often been praised for his charity work, topping a list of the world’s most generous athletes in 2015.

Ronaldo’s latest act of kindness came in response to a request from Cantinho da Lili, a dog rescue centre based in Gouveia which has struggled to meet veterinary bills of up to €2,000.

After a volunteer at the centre contacted a friend of Ronaldo’s family, the Portugal international sent an autographed shirt to the centre, which will now be auctioned off to raise vital funds.

“I want to thank Ronaldo from the bottom of my heart. It's a simple gesture, but very important,” Liliana Santos, one of workers at the dog shelter, told Correrio de Mahna.

The shirt was sent to the shelter last November but was only received this week due to difficulties with the delivery.

“The important thing is that it's already here and we still do not believe it," said Gloria Carvalho, the volunteer who initiated the contact with Ronaldo’s family.

At the tail end of last year, Ronaldo sent a video message via his Instagram account to the children of Syria affected by the county’s long-running civil war, telling them they are “true heroes”.

The former Manchester United forward also made a “generous donation” to Save the Children, the international non-governmental organisation, for whom he works as an ambassador.

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