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Ex ‘puppy machine’ crowned Best in Show

2015 marks the second annual RSPCA Ruffs, the charity’s alternative online dog show which challenges the ideals of beauty pageant style dog shows. Unlike Crufts which judges dogs primarily on looks which can cause suffering, Ruffs is a true celebration of dogs.
Ruffs doesn’t care what a dog looks like, what shape, size or colour they are - there are no ‘standards’ to be met, it just cares whether dogs are healthy, happy and above all loved.

This year’s winner Lucy captured people’s hearts with her harrowing past (pictured left with her owner). Poor Lucy was used as a puppy machine for many years. When she was rescued she was in a terrible state and had completely withdrawn.

At a tiny 3.5kgs, her legs were stained with urine and she had clumps of fur missing. She was rescued by Many Tears Animal Rescue before being rehomed by her new owner Lisa Garner.

Lisa said “I'm over the moon that Lucy has won Ruffs, I'm like a proud parent! People have been so kind.

“Lucy has so many fans from around the world and they are always shocked to hear about her terrible past and the horror she endured as a breeding dog on a puppy farm. With a lot of hard work, love and patience, Lucy’s life has been transformed and she is now an ambassador for breeding dogs everywhere” she added.

Each finalist in Ruffs 2015 has their own story, from runner up Scout, who is half blind and was abandoned as a puppy, to Rio - who was found on the verge of death after being left to fend for herself in an empty flat. These dogs truly represent the spirit of Ruffs.

“We were overwhelmed at the love people showed our amazing finalists. There is a real sense of camaraderie, compassion and celebration,” said Violet Owens Ruffs organiser.

“While there were some positives, in contrast, Crufts 2015 was marked by a number of disturbing events - the suspected poisoning of at least one show dog; the rough handling of dogs including the ‘Best in Show’ who was lifted to the ground by her throat and tail; internet reports of a dog being beaten in the car park and more people being awarded for breeding of dogs with extreme exaggerations such as the German Shepherd with an extremely sloped back as just one shocking example.

“We believe that the time has come for Channel 4 to ask themselves the question if it’s really responsible to air this show in 2016?” she added.

The RSPCA is urging anyone with information about the alleged dog beating to contact them directly, in confidence on 0300 123 8018. The charity has also pledged to support police in their investigations into allegations of poisonings at the event.

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