The story of the homeless dog that Leeds fell in love with

He was Leeds's own 'Littlest Hobo'.

Monday, 24th February 2020, 6:00 am
Civic with Brian Wheelhouse. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Civic with Brian Wheelhouse. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Do you remember Civic the dog? The homeless hound who lived rough outside the Civic Hall in Leeds feeding on the Lord Mayor's scraps.

Back in the early 2000s he was a friend to the Lord Mayor and politicians as he skulked around Millennium Square and the precincts of the civic quarters.

Read More

Read More
17 photos to take you back to Leeds in 2003

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Do you remember Civic the dog?

Over the years the collie cross breed feasted on chicken drumsticks and the finest leftovers from functions at the council headquarters. He has also become a firm favourite with kitchen staff.

He was believed to have been living in the city centre for several years.

Dog wardens tried and failed to to catch him before he was eventually captured in a dog net by Brian Wheelhouse of Whitehall Dog Rescue in the basement of the K2 complex where he was sheltering.

"The dog wardens came to us as they tried to catch him for four years without success," recalled Mr Wheelhouse. "We thought we would have caught hime after a day but it took three years. He was really clever and always had an escape route."

Mr Wheelhouse said a number of people believe Civic had ended up on the streets after being left behind by a travelling fair - but this was not the case.

"He was owned by a homeless guy. He took him to the Leeds General Infirmary and left him outside while he had some tests. But never came out. Civic was known as Scrap at the time. The porters took him to a rescue centre on Cavendish Street but on the way he escaped. And that is why he lived on the streets for a number of years.

Mr Wheelhouse had originally planned to find Civic a new home but he was to spend his days at Whitehall Dog Rescue.

"He hated other dogs and anyone patting him, " said Mr Wheelhouse. "We tried for six months getting usede to a collar and lead. But he woudl hit the ground and not move. It got to the point when he would not go out for a walk."

Mr Wheelhouse says Civic's behaviour changed when he started interacting with a another rescue dog, three-legged Ted.

"They would go out for walks together. They were like long lost friends."

Mr Wheelhouse revealed Civic passed away at the Centre in 2009.

"In his latter years he was very happy. We all really miss him."