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Meet Maxine & Bella

Maxine Lamb and her 12-year-old beagle Bella are tackling social isolation by offering befriending and animal therapy services in Launceston and the surrounding areas.

Helping Hands and Hounds can offer everything from cleaning, shopping and gardening, to a befriending service, social visits and animal therapy. Maxine is DBS checked and vetted, and works with Age UK Cornwall.

Bella is a sweet little beagle, whose ears droop to the ground and eyes gaze lovingly at the people around her - she is also partial to a treat or two, which she quickly sweeps up from Maxine’s hand! But this lovely pooch had a tough start to life. She spent her first two years as a laboratory dog in Huntingdon, and still has the permanent tattoos on the insides of her long ears.

Maxine and Bella the beagle. Picture: Launceston Life

Thankfully, Bella was rescued by Maxine and has since gone on to support her in various care jobs. Despite an unimaginable start to life, Bella is nothing but gentle with people and has become a beacon of light to many during their visits.Starting as a cynophobia dog for children in Essex, Bella then went on to assist Maxine with important work in Cornwall, first supporting young adults with learning difficulties, then as a community carer. She’s even had a taster of what it might be like to be a police dog, as Maxine worked in a police station for some time.

As well as working three days a week as a carer, Maxine now offers a befriending service through her business Helping Hands and Hounds. Maxine said: “When I take her in, there’s an instant smile. She really lights up the room.”

Bella isn’t the only dog in her family. She shares Maxine with Daisy, who was a street dog from Cyprus, Ellie, an ex hunting hound,and Lana, who came from a pound in Spain.

If you are in need of some support at home, or would like to have cuddles with a gentle beagle, contact Maxine on 07795606630 or


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