Ziggy the crossbow bolt Staffie finds Watford home
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.
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".
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.
"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."