The dog wolfed down 20 pies (pic: Wigan Evening News)
A greedy dog was entered in an eating championship despite nearly ruining the contest by wolfing down 20 competition pies in one sitting.
Charlie, a bichon frise, raided the fridge of 1995 champion Dave Williams while his owner was distracted by a pigeon flying up his chimney.
The contest was saved by frantic calls to bakers for a new batch for the World Pie Eating Championship, in Wigan.
But instead of being in the doghouse, Charlie was entered into the contest.
The dog saw his chance when Mr Williams was busy attending to the pigeon at his home in Preston, Lancashire.
He wolfed down 20 pies and damaged a further 10, organisers said.
Tony Callaghan, owner of Harry's Bar which stages the competition, said: "Charlie could have jeopardised the whole competition but luckily we managed to get a fresh bake this morning.
"The twist is that Dave has turned up this morning saying he wants Charlie to enter the contest.
"We've nothing in the rules to say dogs can't compete so he will be lining up against the other pie eaters and judging by his performance yesterday he's got a great chance of winning."
However, it seems that Charlie was still full from Wednesday's mammoth eating session as Mr Williams revealed that he did not even finish his competition pie.
The winner was 42-year-old Adrian Frost from Wigan who downed his pie in a record-breaking 34 seconds.
Mr Williams said: "Charlie was a rescue dog and has habit of picking food up from the street.
"We think this trait has stuck with him because he never knew where his next meal was coming from as a youngster so there was no way we could be angry with him for eating all the pies yesterday.
"However, it seems that he didn't have much room for anymore today when the competition was staged."
Past competitions used to be judged on the number of pies eaten by competitors in a three minute period but after falling victim to the "healthy eating lobby", the format was changed last year. A separate vegetarian competition was also introduced after "relentless pressure" from the Vegetarian Society, Mr Callaghan said.
BBC NEWS | England | Manchester | Dog jeopardises pie championships