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  1. Luke McDowell, ITV News

Dog who survived a vicious knife attack earlier this year, is being spoilt this Christmas

Boo, the hero Shar Pei Credit: Manchester Evening News

Christmas for much-loved dog Boo, a six-year-old Shar Pei, will be extra special this year after she survived a shocking knife attack at the hands of a burglar who broke into her home.

Boo’s sickening story made headlines across the world and struck a chord with many dog owners.

She barely survived after being repeatedly knifed by burglar Shaan Malik, 24, who had broken into her Beswick home while Boo’s owner Maggie Burgess was out.

But the hero dog’s brave defence ultimately led detectives to track down the culprit.

She nipped Malik on the finger causing him to bleed and the resulting DNA sample was all police needed to place him at the scene of the horror.

She was stabbed in the head, neck and back with such ferocity that her skull was fractured and one of her ears was almost ripped off completely.

Now though, nine months on, brave Boo is fighting fit and very much back to her playful best - looking forward to Christmas with Maggie and chewing the tinsel on their tree.

Malik, 24, of Whalley Range, was jailed for three years and nine months after he admitted burglary and a separate offence of handling military memorabilia taken in another break-in.

Boo, with owner Maggie Burgess Credit: Manchester Evening News

“Boo is absolutely fine now. She’s absolutely superb. All her wounds have cleared up and you can’t see anything.

There have been no side effects, which is very good. She’s been fully discharged from the vet and her character hasn’t changed in the slightest by what happened. She’s still lovely.”

– Maggie Burgess, Boo's owner

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The volunteers who look after abandoned animals at Christmas

Volunteers in the North West will be looking after the region's abandoned dogs this Christmas.

Centres in Huyton and Denton will be caring for almost 200.

On the big day it will be, almost, business as usual, with volunteers still walking dogs whatever the weather and cleaning kennels.

They'll also be helping their four-legged friends open presents, which have all been donated by generous dog-lovers

Paul Crone reports:

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Puppy escapes unscathed after being trapped in car engine

Betty Boop the Jack Russell trapped in car's engine Credit: Manchester Evening News

A three-month-old Jack Russell is home safe and well after surviving a half-hour journey trapped inside a car engine.

‘Betty Boop’ managed to climb up through the engine of a neighbour’s Audi A4 before becoming stuck.

Gary James with Betty Credit: Manchester Evening News

Gavin Juliette, 42, drove the 12-mile round trip from Ordsall to Swinton to pick up his mother-in-law before hearing barking coming from the engine as he arrived home.

Betty with owners Gary James and Tracy Gibbons Credit: Manchester Evening News

He was stunned to lift up the bonnet and find Betty Boop staring back at him.

Gavin and the dog’s owner Gary James, 33, hurriedly took the engine apart to free the lucky pooch, who miraculously emerged unscathed.

Gary said “We just couldn’t believe what had happened and it was even harder to believe how she’d survived.

“When I first saw her in there I thought she was bound to be injured or badly burned - but, apart from being covered in oil and a bit shaky, she was fine.

“Now she’s completely back to normal and playing with the kids as if nothing happened. I’ll definitely be keeping the front gate locked from now on.”

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