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Dog found in church to be reunited with owner

A little Staffie who was found tied up in a Catholic church with a heart-wrenching note from his former owner is to be reunited with his family.

The seven-year-old Staffie, named Cracker by the RSPCA, was found tied up next to the altar at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Blackpool on 18th December with a note from his former owner.

‘Please believe me when I say I haven’t done this easily,’ the note read. ‘My dog means the world to me and I don’t know what else to do. I’ve no home or money now for him. Life has taken a really bad turn for me and I couldn’t imagine him being outside with me cold and hungry. I love you and I am so so so sorry.’

However, Cracker – who is actually named Rooney – is now to be reunited with his owner Alison, who is from the seaside resort town.

Alison is receiving support from local charity Street Paws, who are currently taking care of Rooney until she is ready to have him home.

RSPCA inspector Will Lamping, who went to collect the confused Staffie from the church, said the publicity following Rooney’s discovery had led to Alison being found.

“Cracker’s story has really captured the hearts of the nation and everyone has fallen in love with this little dog,” said Mr Lamping. “The outpouring of support for Cracker – and his owners – and the publicity his story has received resulted in us finding Cracker’s owner.

“We’re so pleased that Cracker – who is actually named Rooney – will be going back to his owner once she’s back on her feet. Alison is thrilled to be having him home soon.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has shared Rooney’s story, offered help and support to his owner, enquired about offering him a home and played a part in enabling us to reunite Alison and Rooney and get this lovely dog back home where he belongs.”

Michelle Southern, Street Paws founder, said the charity was “relieved” at hearing Rooney and Alison were to be reunited.

“We recognised Rooney when pictured in the media, and were relieved when his owner was found as she loves him very much,” she said.

Ms Southern explained that while Rooney’s story “touched the hearts of the nation” thanks to the publicity surrounding it, such a “heart breaking” tale is not that uncommon.

“Rooney’s story has really touched the hearts of the nation, but sadly it’s not uncommon,” she said. “People who have no home are forced to make heart breaking decisions to give up their pets as they have no other choice.

She said Street Paws is committed to keeping people in crisis and their pets together.

“We offer support across the UK to relieve animal suffering by providing free of charge veterinary care and emergency kennel space to homeless people and those suffering the effects of extreme poverty.”

Anyone interested in offering an RSPCA rescue dog a new home can visit www.rspca.org.uk/findapet

To make a donation to the RSPCA see: www.rspca.org.uk/give

To support Street Paws see: www.streetpaws.co.uk

Picture: Cracker/Rooney’s owner is “thrilled” they will be reunited after she was forced to leave him in a church after life took ‘a really bad turn’. (RSPCA).

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