He’s starring on TV and can perform an impressive array of tricks. But a dog who was cruelly attacked is still searching for a loving new family more than 400 days after arriving at a rescue centre.
Staff at RSPCA rescue centre Blackberry Farm are desperate to see Leo, seven, avoid spending his second Christmas behind bars after being shot with an air rifle and struggling with a tumour since his arrival.
Kennel supervisor Becka Baker said: “We couldn’t believe it when we saw it (how long it had been).
“It’s a really long time for a poor dog.
“He was completely stitched up all down his side and along where his collar was.
“Where he had to have an operation he was all infected.”
After vets opened him up to operate they discovered the tumour and Becka did admit despite fully recovering, people have not been keen on adopting Leo.
“He’s not the nicest put together dog and owners do judge on appearance. He’s got quite a long back.”
The supervisor added a poor reputation for Staffies has also counted against Leo.
However, she believes his personality should win him a new home as it did a place on CBBC show Pet School.
Ms Baker added: “He’s an old dog but has shown no signs he’s ill. He would play with you for hours.
“It was just for the day but he loved all the fuss from the children. We were absolutely amazed by him.”
Staff put Leo, who loves performing tricks, forward for the show when the RSCPA came calling.
Becka added: “He loves his high fives. He begs for you, he will do anything for a treat.
“He loves agility you can just watch him whizz around.
“We have watched him grow in his personality. He’s a really affectionate dog.”
She remains hopeful Leo will spend Christmas in his own home this year.
“He just needs to make that bond and trust with people and he will do anything for you.”
Ms Baker believes Leo would benefit from being the only dog in a home without cats and without young children.
To get in touch with Becka and Blackberry Farm call 0300 123 0752