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Winners of alternative awards ‘Ruffs’ announced


The RSPCA has revealed the winners of it annual Ruffs competition, that aims to find the happiest and healthiest dogs of all types.

Lisa Richards, the RSPCA’s dog welfare expert said “We invited owners to enter their dogs into our online dog show no matter their age, size, or type. And we were moved by the hundreds of dogs who were entered ­ each with their own special story, or with heart-warming tales of transforming their owners’ lives for the better.”

Seven year ­old Zara was crowned as the Happiest Hound. She was adopted from a rescue centre just over four years ago, by Emma Hindson, from Durham. Zara had previously spent 18 months in kennels waiting for the perfect home but she was returned time and time again by hopeful but unsuccessful adopters ­raising concerns for her future.

“From the moment she sat herself on the settee, Zara was going nowhere,” said Emma. “We bonded instantly, and I just knew we were meant for each other. “Life hasn’t been easy for Zara and I.

“Unfortunately, in January 2013, Zara was identified as a ‘pitbull’ type due to her appearance. Since then, she has been added to the Index of Exempted Dogs which means she lives a life of restrictions wearing her muzzle and staying on the lead whilst in public.
“Luckily this summer I was in the fortunate position to get a private field to give her the freedom she desperately needs.”

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