Kiri is a digital journalist for bayofplentytimes.co.nz.

Meet Alfie, New Zealand's Next Top Office Dog

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A feisty jack russell terrier with an addiction to balls and aerosol cans has been named New Zealand's next top office dog.

Alfie beat 63 other canines to win New Zealand's Top Office Dog.

Alfie was a puppy when he was taken in by the Western Bay of Plenty District Council late last year after his former owner failed to claim him after three weeks at the pound. Alfie had a fractured hind leg and was in a lot of pain, said his owner Betty Hall.

Ms Hall, who works as the council's animal services officer, took Alfie on in an effort to eventually rehome him.

''He was just this little dog from the pound, walking around on three legs,'' Ms Hall said.

Ms Hall said Alfie was so fun and affectionate despite his injury that he quickly stole the hearts of council staff.

By Christmas a staff collection of about $500 was made to pay for Alfie's veterinary bills to help fix his leg, neuter him and ensure he had the necessary vaccines.

''It was pretty amazing. He's sort of become the council's dog. Everyone sort of loves him,'' Mr Hall said.

Alfie's recovery required supervision and leg rest, which meant he came to work with Ms Hall every day and quickly became part of the office furniture. So much so, he has become the council's official 'spokesdog' and fronted the council's dog bylaw consultation efforts.

''People often pop into the office if they're having a bad day and give him a cuddle. They don't even talk to us sometimes.''

Ms Hall said she realised when Alfie's leg recovered that she could no longer give him up to any other forever home than her own. He now lives at her farm with her two other dogs Jake and Quinn who ''just adore him''.

''He is just the most loyal and affectionate dog,'' Ms Hall said.

''At the end of the day, I just couldn't give him up.''

Ms Hall goes kayaking with Alfie, having recently bought him a doggy rash shirt and life jacket.

''But keeping him on the kayak is a mission,'' she said.

''He sees a splash and he's off chasing it.''

''He's the craziest little dog out,'' she said.

''His ball addiction is amazing.''

Alfie also goes nuts for brooms, vacuum cleaners and aerosol cans, she said.

Ms Hall said the council had been working on a new foster and adoption programme for strays and abandoned animals. However, she did not realise she would become a living first-hand experience of it.

''In my 27 years of doing this job and never have I seen something like this.,'' she said.

Ms Hall said the award was actually a credit to the council, who embraced Alfie and included him as ''part of the team''.

''It's just amazing. I'm quite humbled.''

Organiser of the annual competition and founder of Frog Recruitment Jane Kennelly said dogs in the workplace were good for well being and motivation.

"Having dogs in the work environment can buffer the impact of stress during the workday for their owners and make the job more satisfying for those with whom they come into contact,'' she said.

Alfie has won a studio photo session, Animates vouchers, dog flea treatments, Karen Walker dog accessory, Mr Soft Top voucher and Doggles - sunglasses for dogs.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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