Former Street Dog Who Avoided Death Wins Scruffts Award

Not every dog has the best start in life. While some dogs are fortunate enough to have a loving family and a nice warm home from being a pup, other dogs are left to fend for themselves on the street. These dogs face many challenges daily, as they must search for food, try to find somewhere dry to sleep, and protect themselves against attackers. They are also at greater risk of developing infections due to their poor living conditions. Even after these dogs have been rescued and taken to a shelter, it doesn’t always mean that their ordeal is over or that they will have a happy ending to their story. In many cases, shelters around the world euthanize the dogs they remove from the streets as they do not have the funds to care for them or find them a forever home. In other cases, being rescued by an animal organization can completely transform a rescue dog’s life.

This situation almost happened to one dog featured in a story on I Heart Dogs. Clooney is a crossbreed dog that had been living on the streets of Romania. He thought that his luck had changed when he was rescued by Sirius Animal Rescue and taken to their shelter. The locals who had seen him roaming the streets were planning to poison him as they considered him a nuisance, and some of the local children would throw things at him or kick him. Thankfully, being rescued meant that Clooney was spared that fate. The workers at Sirius Animal Rescue collaborated with Evermore Dog Rescue, which is an organization that helps to rehome Romanian rescue animals. Due to the work of these two charitable organizations, Clooney got the food and medical attention he so desperately needed.

After Clooney had received this treatment and gained some strength, he made his journey to the UK. This gave him a better chance of being rehomed. As Clooney is such an adorable dog, it was not long before he found himself a new family. Stephen and Hannah Hayes first clapped eyes on Clooney when his profile was posted on the Halfway home Dog Rescue website. Stephen said that it was love at first sight, and they instantly knew that he is the dog for them. When the couple first went to see the dog, it was clear that the feeling was mutual as he began to bark as soon as he was introduced to them. Stephen said that he and Hannah were instantly drawn to the dog’s amber eyes and cheeky face. They were lucky enough to take him home the same day that they met him.

Clooney soon became an important part of the family unit. How much he is loved became evident when he was given the honor of acting as a ring bearer at Stephen and Hannah’s wedding. The dog was even Stephen’s best man. This shows how loved he is by his new family. Considering his poor start in life, it may surprise you to learn that Clooney has now become an award-winning dog. Stephen and Hannah entered him in a competition called Scruffts in 2019. Scruffts is a competition for crossbreeds like Clooney, unlike the prestigious Crufts competition that is only for pedigrees. The competition is run by Crufts to give non-pedigree dogs the chance to take part in a competition and receive the recognition they deserve.

When Clooney took part in the competition in 2019, Stephen and Hannah were delighted when he won the quarter-finals. They were so proud of him and described the experience as being like a dream. It was difficult for them to imagine that their dog had once been an unloved animal living on the streets of Romania, and now he was winning quarter-finals in a nationwide competition. Stephen and Hannah would not have minded if Clooney had gone no further in the competition because they didn’t think they could possibly be any prouder of him than they already were. However, Clooney’s run of success continued. Within a few months of the quarter-finals, Clooney had progressed to the final stages of the 2020 Scruffts competition. Imagine his family’s delight and surprise when he went on to become the overall winner of the event, taking the title of the Scruffts Most Handsome Crossbreed 2020.

Never had the Hayes imagined that their former street dog would become the champion of such a prestigious event. Although Clooney had won them over with his looks and his charm as soon as he had met them, Stephen and Hannah had no idea that other people would fall for the dog in the same way. Scruffts competition judge Sally Phillips says that she had felt touched by Clooney’s story. She had loved hearing how he had come to the UK from the streets of Romania, and how he had been welcomed into the Hayes family. Phillips was particularly touched to hear how Clooney had played such an important role in the couple’s wedding. In Phillips’ opinion, it is fantastic that a rescue dog can have the opportunity to win such a competition. This is a subject close to her heart as she has also welcomed a rescue dog into her home.

This story shows that every dog has value, regardless of their start in life. It also demonstrates how the work of animal rescue organizations can make a huge difference in the lives of dogs, giving many of them a second chance to enjoy a better life. Clooney had once lived in desperately poor conditions, and he even faced potential death as the locals wanted to poison him. Now, his life is completely different. He is an award-winning dog with a loving family and a stable home environment. His life is full of love, fun, and exciting opportunities to show the world that he is an amazing dog, despite having once lived on the streets.

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