An adopted street dog from Romania is winning hearts - and prizes - in Filby.

Matted and starving, Chewie the street dog faced certain death in his home country of Romania.

The pitiful pooch was among thousands destined for the government pound where he did not stand a chance. However he was saved in the nick of time - his mother having been already taken - by a charity that carries out regular sweeps on the streets around Turda, Transylvania.

Fast-forward 18 months and the once-doomed dog is now a pampered pet enjoying family life with proud owner Sarah Hurren more than 1,000 miles away.

The 35-year-old fell in love with his big sad eyes and floppy ears on a Facebook re-homing page and vowed to bring him home.

And since settling in he has earned himself a clutch of rosettes and trophies including a coveted Best in Show award having made quite an impression on the area.

Chewie spent 18 months in the Romanian charity kennels before Sarah Hurren, 35, saw him on the group's Facebook page and decided to adopt and bring him over to the UK.

Mrs Hurren said: 'As soon as I saw his picture I fell in love. I felt compelled to re-home one of those dogs online and give them a fresh start in life.'

Chewie, believed to be around two-years-old, was just one of many Romanian street dogs who face an uncertain future, with the government going to extremely cruel lengths to remove them from the streets.

Mrs Hurren explained: 'The government hire dog catchers to go and remove them from the streets and place them into warehouses, often referred to as death camps or 'kill kennels'. It is horrific what happens over there.

All the dogs that are captured by the government are left in the kennels to starve.'

After being adopted by Mrs Hurren in July this year, Chewie was microchipped, neutered, vaccinated and given his pet passport, all of which was included in the £230 paid by the family to adopt him.

Chewie still faced a 1,346 mile trip from Romania to London in a van, along with other dogs making the trip through Europe to their new home, before being picked up by the Hurren family.

Speaking about how Chewie was named, Mrs Hurren said: 'The name Chewie was chosen by my husband Daniel and our children.

'Daniel is a huge fan of the Star Wars films so he decided to name him after Chewbacca.'

Since moving to Filby on August 8, Chewie has gone on to make quite an impression on the local area after competing in a couple of Norfolk's popular dog shows.

First up was the Faith Dog Olympics held at the Filby playing Once again Chewie was victorious and he went on to receive the Best in Show award at the special event.

Speaking about his successes, Mrs Hurren said: 'I am full of pride when I see him doing so well at all of these dog shows. For a newcomer to be winning so many awards is amazing, especially when you think about his background.'

Chewie has settled in quickly at the Hurren family home, where he joins Mrs Hurren's two children, Rose, five, and Teddy, three, along with Peggy, a Pug, and three cats named Sydney, Nimms and Gordon.

The move over to the UK couldn't have gone any better in the eyes of Mrs Hurren, who is delighted about how Chewie interacts with the rest of the family.

She said: 'To see him settle into our family life so quickly is amazing. He is absolutely fantastic with the children, and they adore him. Chewie joins me on the walk to and from school every day to pick them up and you can just tell that he loves all of the attention he receives from all of the other children.'

The Amicii Dog Rescue has successfully found homes for around 250 Romanian dogs so far in the UK and are currently looking after around 200 more.

In a message to those possibly wanting to help, Mrs Hurren said: 'Romanian rescue dogs do make excellent house pets, they just need to be given a chance.'

?Anybody wanting to donate to the group or are interested in adopting or sponsor a dog can do so by visiting the trust's Facebook page, at