A DOG found abandoned outside a church with a heart-breaking note is to be reunited with his owner.

The story of Cracker — whose real name is Rooney — touched hearts across Lancashire after the Staffie was found tied up outside Sacred Heart Church on December 22.

Rooney, who was cared for by the RSPCA and named Cracker, is now being taken in by charity Street Paws in Blackpool, which helps people and their pets going through a homeless crisis.

A heart-breaking note was left by his owner who said she could not look after Rooney, despite how much she would miss him.

The note said: ‘Please believe me when I say I haven’t done this easily. My dog means the world to me and I don’t know what else to do. I’ve no home or money now for him. Life has taken a really bad turn for me and I couldn’t imagine him being outside with me cold and hungry. He is a placid, friendly, loving dog. He will be seven years old on 22 March 2020. He has got quite tender front paws, I’ve been treating them for about a month now but they are still sore. My heart is broken and I will truly miss him more than words can say. I hope he can be found a new home he deserves. I love you and I am so so so sorry xxxx’

A charity founder recognised Rooney, as she had previously been in contact with her owner, known as Alison.

Founder of Street Paws, Michelle Southern, which operates in the North East and North West, said: "I saw the news circulating all over Facebook and thought I recognised Rooney.

"We had supported them before for six days, but Alison did not reach out again so we assumed she was okay.

"We did not know things had spiralled out of control for her.

"Alison was very distressed and we have offered our support to both her and Rooney, who will now stay with us until Alison gets back on her feet again."

Street Paws work with homeless people by giving them outreach support, helping with veterinary treatment and emergency kennel space.

Ms Southern added: "We are working hard to get kennels put into hostels as they don't usually allow animals, so they have to be given up, and it is not fair.

"Why should anyone have to give up their best friend?

"Rooney is such a sweet dog and Alison really misses him, and we are in contact with her, so she will see him soon."