A PRETEND pet shop has opened its doors at the Thistles shopping centre in Stirling.

The Littlest Pet Shop is promising weeks of animal antics with free events for children and young people during the summer holiday.

Children are able to head along to the pretend pet shop and become employees to help look after cuddly toy pets.

Located opposite JD Sports, children will have their turn at playing vet, complete with lab coat, be given demonstrations on how to care for animals and get involved in interactive sessions.

The Thistles has teamed up with animal charity Reanimate, which will benefit from voluntary donations made by visitors.

Sharon Taylor, founder of Reanimate, said: “We are thrilled to be the chosen charity for this project and look forward to seeing all the children learning about animals.

“This project will help us to buy feed, hay and cover necessary vet bills for all the animals under our care.

“We feel it will be particularly helpful for our oldest resident Twiggy who needs high levels of medication to help keep her healthy.”

Online booking is required for the pet shop, which will run themed weeks until the end of July.

Each session is 15 minutes and sensory sessions are also available between 11am and 12noon every Sunday as part of the centre's ongoing work with charity Scottish Autism.

Gary Turnbull, centre director, said: “This is the first event of its kind at the centre and we’re really pleased to be able to offer something so different and engaging completely free of charge to families during the summer holidays.

“We launched our new campaign, #ThistlesHelps, earlier this month which aims to lend a helping hand to the community after a difficult year.

“We hope that the Littlest Pet Shop goes some way to helping parents and carers when it comes to entertaining their children while they are off school or nursery.

“There’s a new theme each week so we are confident the kids will love the first session and want to come back for more in the following weeks.”

Visit the centre's website for more info and to book.