A LEIGH schoolgirl has become an internet hit with the poster she designed, warning dog owners about the danger of leaving pets outside shops.

Melieha Blackstock, 12, of Fleming Crescent, came up with the poster to remind owners their dogs were at risk of being taken and used as bait in dogfights.

By yesterday, her image had been shared by more than 13,000 users on the Facebook social networking website. It has also enjoyed widespread coverage on the Twitter website after being retweeted by radio and television host James Whale.

Melieha, a pupil at Deanes School, Thundersley, has also asked supermarket chains Tesco and Sainsbury’s and convenience store group Londis, if they will display her poster.

Mum, Julie, said her daughter had long been passionate about animal welfare.

She added: “It’s really blown up. It seems to be an issue close to people’s hearts. We’ve had people from pet shops and vets from around the world sharing the poster, and Dogs Today magazine said it might even write an article on her.

“She was quite shocked at the response.

It’s beyond anything she thought would happen.

“It’s absolutely brilliant, and great the younger generation is inspired to look after animals better. Melieha is a good role model for her age group.”