A family who offered a reward after their dog was snatched by men in a van last Thursday have been re-united with their beloved pet.
After the theft of her two-year-old pug, known as Puggy, Vera Smyth, reported the theft to Lincolnshire Police and posted a Facebook appeal for information on its whereabouts.
The dog had been taken from outside her home in Mill Close, Billinghay by two men in a white van which had been hanging around, within sight of her 19-year-old stepdaughter Cherise, she said.
Mrs Smyth said she had received a tip-off of a registration of the van thought to have been involved from a neighbour and passed it onto police and then on Monday was contacted by a woman from the traveller community in Newark claiming to know exactly where her dog was being kept, tied up outside.
Mrs Smyth said: “She knew the two boys involved and said what they were doing was wrong and disgusting, because it was such a lovely little dog describing her so that I knew it was Puggy. She urged me to come and get Puggy quickly and bring the police.”
Mrs Smyth contacted Newark police and finally convinced them that she knew where her dog was being held and was prepared to go round there and get it herself. Meanwhile the Irish woman traveller had called repeatedly urging them to hurry up and get the dog.
Finally yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon, officers PC Martin Stannard and PC Martin Drew of Newark Neighbourhood Policing Team visited the site and recovered the dog, although no-one was at the premises at the time and Mrs Smythe was able to positively identify her by scanning the microchip in her neck.
This chip contained an identification code, which when checked against the national database provided a positive identification of Puggy and her owner’s contact details.
Puggy was reunited with her relieved family last night at Newark Police Station.
Mrs Smyth said her four children, three are diagnosed with autism, had been devastated when Puggy was stolen as she is a calming influence on them. She said: “We stopped off and gave Puggy chicken nuggets and chips on the way home from the police station. She must have been starving as she had been left outside with a bowl of water the whole time.
“Thanks to Pc Stannard and his local knowledge we have got our dog back.
“We are delighted but the kids are now worried the thieves will come back. My son said people in white vans should not be able to come round taking what they like. There just seems to be no security.”
The crime associated with the theft of Puggy continues to be investigated by Lincolnshire Police. If you have any information in relation to this theft call Lincolnshire Police on 101 and quote incident 271 of October 27.
From April 6 2016 all dogs are now required by law to be micro chipped, the chip needs to be linked to the owner’s most current contact information to be compliant.