Miracle as dog owner catches thief red-handed walking his stolen spaniel

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A dog has been reunited with his owner after he was stolen in Plymouth last Friday. Distraught owners Declan Leyland-Lacey and Jenny last saw their Spaniel, Harry, when Jenny walked him to Boots and tied him up outside. When Jenny returned moments later, three-year-old Harry was gone. In a stroke of luck, Declan was driving on Sunday night and spotted Harry being walked by a stranger near a park.

Declan said: “I was driving at night around the parks, probably looking a little suspicious myself when I saw what looked like Harry with a bloke by Devonport Park.

“I slowed down to a crawl, pulled the window down and called Harry and he looked at me, so I just stopped in the road and jumped out. The man let go.

“He kind of pretended he had found him. When I started to question his story he pegged it up the road.

“Then I just kind of stood shaking and holding the dog in the road, chances of that must be a 1,000 to one.

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The charity has outlined some ways owners can protect your dog from theft:

· Never leave your dog tied up outside or alone in a car or garden.

· Make sure your dog is microchipped and contact details are up-to-date.

· Your dog should always wear a collar and ID tag with your name and address on it.

· Do not put your dog’s name on their collar, harness or ID tag.

· Take photos with your dog to help to prove ownership if needed.

· Make a note of any distinguishing features.

· Avoid putting too much information about your dog on social media.

If your dog is stolen, call 999 and report it as a theft rather than a lost animal. You must also report the theft to the microchip database, this will ensure that if anyone tries to re-register the chip number, you will be informed.

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