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A wags to riches story

Puppy stolen from Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre now resides in grand castle

It’s a tale that should belong in a story book; a puppy that starts his life homeless is taken in by an animal charity only to be stolen in the dead of night by thieves. The puppy is then found on the other side of the country after mysteriously managing to escape from his captors and is then rehomed by a kind family who live in a fairy tale castle.

The puppy in question is Munchie, a lovely Lurcher who was stolen along with his sister from Dogs Trust Evesham Rehoming Centre back in October 2009. Five
months on and 171 miles away in Kent, a lone emaciated puppy was found straying in a hospital car park. The dog warden scanned his microchip and identified him as Munchie – he was then returned to Dogs Trust Canterbury’s Rehoming Centre.

A fairy tale would not be a fairy tale without a happy ending, and Munchie’s ending is very happy indeed as he caught the eye of Tessa and Stuart Wheeler, of Chilham Castle.

The Wheelers bought the property in 2002 and started on a period of restoration and refurbishment. The restoration period lasted two years and the finished product is a stunning country castle steeped in history, boasting 320 acres of land – perfect for long dog walks. Tessa explains:

“I’d owned a Lurcher before and, upon visiting Dogs Trust Canterbury, found myself instantly taken by Munchie. However, my daughters Sarah, Charlotte and Jacquetta thought the name Munchie didn’t quite fit, so I left his name change to their discretion – they decided on Otto.

“Chilham Castle gardens are open to the public once a month and I’ve no doubt that once Otto has settled and is out and about mingling that he’ll be quite an attraction himself!”

Otto will certainly have plenty to keep him occupied as a resident of Chilham Castle; he is now the heart of a family who regularly welcome guests and visitors. The lucky pup has already made firm friends with the Chef, Carleton Smith, and the Gardener, Greg Park, who also owns a rescue dog. Tessa Wheeler runs regular horse events throughout the summer on castle grounds, and Otto is already preparing for his first show attendance this May.

Lizzie Reffell of Dogs Trust Canterbury, adds:

“We are delighted to see Otto go to such a magnificent new home with a loving family. The first year of Otto’s life has been somewhat tumultuous, so we are very happy to see him finally settled. He’s always been a little Prince in our eyes, but we never expected him to become King of his own castle!”

Otto has found his fairy tale ending but he has lots of canine chums at Dogs Trust Rehoming Centres nationwide who are still looking for a happy ending of their own. Anyone interested in rehoming a Dogs Trust dog can visit or call 02078370006 for more information.


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