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Dog left in church set to be reunited with homeless owner

A DOG which was found tied to a church with a heartbreaking note from his owner when she became homeless is set to be reunited with her.

The brindle-and-white Staffordshire bull terrier cross was found tied to the altar by parishioners just days before Christmas with a note that read: ‘I love you and I am so so sorry.’

The handwritten note from the dog’s owner explained they had recently become homeless and did not want their beloved pet to be cold and hungry on the streets.

But after the dog — called Cracker by churchgoers, but actually named Rooney — hit the headlines, his owner was found.

And he is now due to return home once his owner, named only as Alison, is back on her feet.

Rooney was found tied up next to the altar at Sacred Heart Church in Blackpool, on December 18 with a note from Allison that read: ‘Please believe me when I say I haven’t done this easily. 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.

‘He is a placid, friendly, loving dog. He will be seven years old on 22 March 2020. He has got quite tender front paws, I’ve been treating them for about a month now but they are still sore.

‘My heart is broken and I will truly miss him more than words can say. I hope he can be found a new home he deserves. I love you and I am so so so sorry xxxx’.

RSPCA inspector Will Lamping went to collect the confused pooch and he is being cared for by staff at the Longview Animal Centre.

Mr Lamping said: ‘Cracker’s story has really captured the hearts of the nation and everyone has fallen in love with this little dog.

‘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 from Blackpool, is thrilled to be having him home soon.

‘She is receiving support from local charity, Street Paws, who will now take care of Rooney until Alison is ready to have him home.

‘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.’

Street Paws founder Michelle Southern said: ‘Rooney’s story has really touched the hearts of the nation, but sadly it’s not uncommon.

‘People who have no home are forced to make heartbreaking decisions to give up their pets as they have no other choice.

‘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 affects of extreme poverty.

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

Anyone who is interested in offering an RSPCA rescue dog a new home can visit to find their perfect match.

To help the RSPCA rescue more animals in need like Rooney you can donate by visiting, and to support StreetPaws visit