Stray dog with celebrity friends finds new home in Dalston

A homeless hound, who made a few celebrity friends during his four months in a dog shelter, has finally been adopted after a kind-hearted Dalston couple fell in love with him.

Marcel, a Staffordshire bull terrier, was brought into Battersea Dogs and Cats Home as a stray in November last year and made his television debut when he appeared on the Alan Titchmarsh Show in a feature about pets.

While he was at the London studios he bumped into former wrestling star Hulk Hogan, who was about to appear on daytime chat show Loose Women, and the star couldn’t resist a cuddle with the abandoned pooch.

Veterinary staff at the shelter guessed Marcel, who sports a distinctive grey muzzle, was aged about 10, and the dog became a firm favourite with staff as he spent just over four months in kennels waiting for someone to adopt him.

Luckily for Marcel, retired musician John Rooke, 65, and his wife Cathy, of Lavender Grove, saw him on Battersea’s website last month and knew they were meant to be together.

John said: “I think it’s awful that so many dogs are abandoned and as Battersea is the best-known rescue centre, it was my starting point.”

He was looking for an older dog, he added, because “like humans” they become calmer and wiser with age.

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“Marcel has a life of luxury now,” he said. “He took a few days to relax properly at home, but is now frequently to be found snoring away in any cosy corner he finds or in the warm weather sunbathing on the garden bench.

“He is very much loved by us and is a wonderful example of how soft and loving Staffies can be.”

The shelter’s operations manager, Philip Heron, said: “It’s a bitter sweet feeling seeing Marcel go. On the one hand we’re sad, as he’s such a favourite among staff, but we’re also delighted that he’s found his forever home.”