THIS pedigree pooch is more than rare – she’s thought to be the only one of her kind in Sheffield.
Charity the otterhound, who belongs to Sorrel Dryden from Nether Edge, is quite the shaggy celebrity – with a Crufts champion title to her name.
But the three-year-old is one endangered member of a very exclusive club, with just 21 otterhound puppies registered in the UK last year in comparison to 40,000 labradors.
Sorrel, aged 42, said: “When we go walking we can’t go 100 yards before someone asks me, ‘What’s that?’.
“We give gold stars to those who know what breed she is.”
Sorrel said: “I first saw Charity when she was a day old and you could fit her in your hand.
“Now she can put her paws on your shoulders and look at you.
“To our knowledge she is the only one in Sheffield.
“Her sister is in Worksop and there’s another in North Derbyshire.
“If we saw another otterhound and owner I’d say, ‘How don’t we know about you?’ because the breed is such a small world.”
Otterhounds, so-called because they used to be used to be bred for hunting the creatures, are said to make friendly family dogs.
But it is estimated there are only 600 in the world.
Spreading the word about otterhounds – one of the most vulnerable native breeds – is Sorrel’s aim.
She said she also hopes to help increase the population by finding Charity a mate but, given the small number of dogs around, it is a tough task.
Sorrel, a national account manager, added: “We are trying to sort that out but the thing is it is such a small gene pool.
“There are only a few breeders going in the UK – we got Charity from Hereford.
Sorrel said: “I would really like Charity to have puppies.
“It’s finding her a mate that’s the problem, but I’m sure there are some suitable candidates out there somewhere.”