A Lincoln rescue dog that narrowly avoided death on the streets of Romania has been crowned as the nation’s favourite crossbreed.
Five-year-old mongrel Clooney won the hearts of the judges to take the crown at Scruffts 2020 in front of emotional owners, Stephen and Hannah Hayes.
The street dog was rescued by Romania-based Sirius Animal Rescue, which nursed him back to health before he was transferred back to the UK.
He was then offered up for adoption on the Halfway Home Dog Rescue website, where the couple found him and fell in love.
Stephen, 26, said: “Hannah saw him on the Halfway Home Dog Rescue website and fell in love with him instantly.
“As soon as he saw me, he barked and that was it. I took him home that day.”
Hannah added: “I just couldn’t resist his beautiful amber eyes and cheeky face.”
Not long after the couple adopted Clooney, they made him the ring-bearer at their wedding in November last year.
“He didn’t have the real rings,” admitted Hannah. “We couldn’t really trust him not to run off chasing squirrels.”
Judge Sally Phillips said: “I just loved the fact that Clooney was the best man at Stephen and Hannah’s wedding and has done wonders for their mental health.
“That’s something I can relate to. When you rescue a dog, as I have done, you do wonder who is actually rescuing who here.”
Scruffts, sponsored by James Wellbeloved, is a way to celebrate the family pets who can’t compete in the breed categories at Crufts.