Crowthorne's favourite pooch and television star, Pippin, has been found safe and well after disappearing on New Year's Eve.

Ann Head, owner and trainer of the canine hero, was distraught after Pippin, who has an acute fear of fireworks, fled after a firecracker screamed over the garden just after midnight on January 1.

Pippin, the star of adverts such as Bakers Dog Complete and children's road safety films, is normally sedated on Bonfire Night, but Mrs Head said she had not been prepared for the New Year's Eve celebrations.

She added: "Pippin's a very sensitive dog and very scared of fireworks.

"When I took him out into the garden this firecracker came screaming overhead and exploded. The poor dog panicked and fled.

"Because more fireworks kept going off he couldn't hear me calling him — he was absolutely petrified.

"Pippin is a very cosseted dog and it was below freezing that night - I kept visualising him cowering under hedges. I was so worried."

After an agonising wait and desperate phone calls to the police and animal rescue homes, Mrs Head received the good news from Wokingham Animal Rescue Group that Pippin had been found safe and well.

Thanks to two kind-hearted women driving along Old Wokingham Road, Pippin had been spotted one mile from home and handed in to the animal home in Brittons Farm, Waterloo Road.

Diana Brimblecombe, founder of the home, said it was a great relief when she discovered Pippin had been delivered safely to the home's reception area.

Pippin and Mrs Head repaid the sanctuary for its care and support by handing over 10 huge sacks of Bakers Dog Complete last Saturday.

Mrs Brimblecombe added: "The food is a wonderful gift and will help us tremendously."