Cambridgeshire

Ziggy the crossbow bolt Staffie finds Watford home

Ziggy the dog Image copyright Dominic O'Hare
Image caption Ziggy has now found a loving home with a couple in Hertfordshire

A dog deliberately shot through the skull with a bolt from a crossbow, narrowly missing his eyes and brain, has found a new home.

Staffordshire bull terrier Ziggy was found in remote woodland near Wansford in Peterborough on 22 October.

After a delicate operation to remove the bolt, he was taken to the RSPCA's Block Fen to recuperate.

New owner Dominic O'Hare, from Watford, said he knew immediately Ziggy was "the dog for us... he's just a big softie".

Ziggy, who is about two years old, was found in woods with a 50cm (20ins) carbon fibre bolt embedded from one side of his head to the other, narrowly missing his vital organs.

Image copyright Dominic O'Hare
Image caption Ziggy has found a new home with Dominic O'Hare and his girlfriend in Watford
Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Ziggy before and after the operation to remove the crossbow bolt from his head
Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Ziggy was looked after by RSPCA staff at the charity's Block Fen centre while he recovered

Despite having been left that way for several days, RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs, who rescued him, said Ziggy was still wagging his tail and was "remarkably friendly".

He helped a vet remove the bolt, after which Ziggy began to make "a miraculous recovery" at the Cambridgeshire re-homing centre.

Home for Christmas

Hertfordshire couple Mr O'Hare and his girlfriend Anna Burton-Wood first heard of Ziggy's ordeal via Twitter.

He said they both had "the same immediate impulse - that we wanted to adopt him".

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Ziggy had been deliberately attacked and left in remote woodland, the RSPCA said
Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Ziggy had to wait patiently at the rehoming centre until he was well enough to be adopted
Image copyright Dominic O'Hare
Image caption Now in his new home, the RSPCA said they were delighted Ziggy had found owners to love him

However, the couple were told 60 other people also wanted to look after Ziggy.

Persistence paid off for Mr O'Hare and after weeks of calling the centre, Ziggy finally arrived at his new home just in time for Christmas.

"It is hard to say what it was exactly in his story which made me know he was the dog for us, but I think what got me the most was the way he just went up to those people in the woods with a wagging tail.

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Media caption"The dog is making a miraculous recovery," said the RSPCA

"Despite what had been done to him he was so open, so trusting," he said.

Mr Stubbs said he and the RSPCA were delighted Ziggy had finally "found people who can love him for the special dog he is".

"I have seen some things in my job, but this case will always stand out for me. It just bewildered me how someone could aim and fire at a dog at such callous close range," he said.

"It then just amazed me how Ziggy stayed so trusting and affectionate regardless of the ordeal. I will never forget him sitting there, wagging his tail at me, with a crossbow through his head.

"This is why we do the job we do - to see happy endings like this. It makes it all worthwhile."

Image copyright RSPCA

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