Amazing story of survival steals crown at RSPCA Ruffs

Hundreds of thousands of people have voted for the incredible dogs showcased in this years  RSPCA’s Ruffs – the dog show with a difference.

Frustrated with dog shows that prioritise looks over the health, welfare and happiness of dogs, this year the animal welfare charity launched its own alternative online dog show.

On Sunday (9 March) the winner was chosen as Tiny, the Rottie whose incredible transformation stole people’s hearts. Just two years ago Tiny was at death’s door, suffering from full body Demodicosis and so severely emaciated he looked like a different dog.

The other finalists included Tango – a dog who has been used in dog fighting and has had his ears cut off; Molly – a staffie who was dumped as a puppy in a recycling bin, and Maya – who had previously used as a breeding machine and had never seen the outside world or played with a toy.

Owner Leila Pereira, who was volunteering at ‘The Sanctuary’ in Taiwan when Tiny was found, said “He looked like he had given up on life. I fell immediately in love with the large, loveable Rottie with an ironic name. I moved into a new apartment just so I could adopt him. He is now a beautiful and very well loved dog."

Tiny the Rottie pulled in an incredible 315,000 votes alone in the semi finals, and went on to win the overall competition with a further 12,000 votes.

“We’ve been amazed by the response we’ve had with our winner, Tiny, the rottie found wandering the streets in a terrible state but whose life has been transformed by Sean McCormack from The Sanctuary in Taiwan and his loving new owner,” said Violet Owens, RSPCA campaigns manager.

“It is overwhelming how the public have responded to this competition – with hundreds of thousands of people voting throughout the week. Our finalists will never be ‘perfect’ according to ‘breed standards’ but Tiny and our other finalists represent the true spirit of the contest which  celebrates dogs for health, welfare and happiness which should always be put before how a dog looks.”

The RSPCA has been campaigning for many years for the welfare of pedigree dogs, as many dogs, particularly those bred to have exaggerated physical features, can suffer with lifelong and crippling deformities and chronic health issues because of the way they are bred to achieve a certain look according to the breed standards held by the Kennel Club.

Such health and welfare concerns are often dismissed as ‘normal for the breed’ but the RSPCA are calling on the Kennel Club to change the breed standards to help make many dogs healthier and happier.

The RSPCA is asking people to stand up for dogs & sign its petition here:



Notes for editors:

For photos of finalists and winners, as well as interviews please contact RSPCA press office on 0300 123 0244.

The ‘Ruffs 2014’ categories and winners are:


– ‘Happiest Hound’ – happiest, smiliest or most contented dogs. 2014 winner: Molly the staffie, who was found in a bin in London.


– 'Perfectly Imperfect' – ‘wonky’ dogs who will never be ‘perfect’ according to a set or arbitrary standards, but are perfect anyway. 2014 winner: Tango – an ex bait dog used in dog fighting who had his ears chopped off without anaesthetic, his teeth filed down, was shot and run over and lost a leg.


– 'Best Transformation' – ‘before and after’ pics of rescued dogs whose heart warming transformations show people that ‘rescued’ really is the best ‘breed’. 2014 winner: Tiny, the rottie found wandering the streets of Taiwan in a terrible state whose life has been transformed by Sean McCormack from The Sanctuary in Taiwan.


– 'Best rescued ex-breeder' –  Dogs discarded when they’re no longer producing puppies. 2014 winner: Maya, the spaniel who was used for breeding for many years and had never even seen the outside. She had produced multiple litters of puppies but it was clear that she had not had positive experiences with humans.




RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9RS
Press office direct lines: 0300 123 0244/0288  Fax: 0303 123 0099
Duty press officer (evenings and weekends) Tel 08448 222888 and ask for pager number 828825
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Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals registered charity no: 219099 Registered office: RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 9RS