A puppy stolen from a girl playing in her back garden has been found and reunited with its family after a social media campaign and police search. Dotty the Dachshund was taken by a man at around 6.50pm on Saturday from the child as she played on a swing in her garden.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) launched an appeal following the incident in Moor Road, Orrell, and issued photos of the adorable four-month-old puppy.
After a huge response on social media, the force’s Wigan West Unit announced Dotty has now been returned to her owners.
Last night a statement from the unit read: “Following on from yesterday’s social media post regarding the theft of a dog in Orrell, we are happy to confirm that the dog has now been located. Many thanks for sharing the post.”
No further details were given about how Dotty had been found or about her health but she was described as being “still very young” when the police initially launched the appeal to find her.
The man who took Dotty was described as being in his 30s, of mixed race, and wearing a black jumper with the word “security” on the front.
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In 2022 and estimated 2,160 dogs were reported, according to research by Direct Line Pet Insurance, equating to around six a day. Only one in four stolen dogs were found and returned.
The Dogs Trust advise if your dog is stolen to report the theft to the police straight away and to notify your microchip provider. The charity said owners should check with rescue centres, vets and animal charities for any sightings and to monitor social media and websites where dogs might be sold by the thieves.
It also recommended using social media to help spread the word about the theft by sharing pictures and a description of your pet, as well as details of when it went missing.
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