TAILS wagged furiously at Drove Vets yesterday as a robotic dog made from wood and baked bean tins made the hospital its new home.

The dog, named Smithy, is the creation of 34-year-old Steve Donohue whose metallic canine is intended to raise funds for homeless charity Threshold and SNDogs and to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless in Swindon – whether they have two legs or four.

The aluminium animal currently sits in the waiting room at Drove Vets in Croft Road and is adorned with Christmas lights, skiing goggles and a Santa hat.

Steve, who used to live on the streets before finally getting back on his feet thanks to Threshold, has spent three days a week for the past month putting Smithy together.

Proud, Steve said: “It feels brilliant to see him finished. I hope he’ll make other dogs feel welcome when they come into the vets.

“The aim is to help people and animals. I want people to know about the work Threshold and SNDogs do and hopefully encourage them to donate.

“Threshold have helped me no end. They took me in and now I’m doing really well and I’m able to do stuff like this.”

Steve named the dog Smithy in a nod to Threshold’s operations director Phil Smith, who died last year. ‘Mr Threshold’ was how Steve referred to him.

“I have a lot of respect for him. I don’t know where I’d be if it wasn’t for him.”

Steve explained that putting Smithy together took a lot of patience and determination, but he is thrilled with the outcome. “It was definitely worth it,” he said.

Rachel Donovan, HR manager at Drove Vets, said: “The dog looks brilliant, though I wasn’t expecting it to be that big.

“It’s amazing that someone can invest so much time to create something like this to raise funds for two really good causes.

“We had a few growls when he first came in, but the animals seem to like him. I think it’s wonderful.”

To donate to Steve's campaign, log on to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/helpingswindonshomeslesswhether2legsor4