Two dogs, stolen from a van in Glencar before Christmas, are now back with their rightful owner.
The story of Sean McGann's French Bulldogs took a remarkable and positive twist last week when the pair, missing for six months, turned up safe and sound before being reunited with their owner.
First reported missing in early December last year, Mr McGann's dogs were stolen from his van at Glencar Waterfall while he went for a walk in the area.
A number of appeals took place since, with little or no success. Sean, who lives in Mullingar is a regular visitor to Sligo and described how devastated he was when the valuable bitches were stolen, one of whom was had recently underwent an operation.
The dogs were returned to him last Friday and he has said he cannot really believe it.
"I would like to thank everyone who shared, spread the word, messaged me with your kind words.
"I'd like to especially thanks Garda Dolan of Grange Garda Station and Anthony at the Dog Shelter in Drumcliffe."
The dogs were discovered and taken in by Sligo Dog Warden Anthony McDaniel to the shelter in Drumcliffe. Mr McDaniel contacted Garda Dolan in Grange to alert him of the discovery.
"We found the dogs straying, and brought them in," Mr McDaniel told The Sligo Champion.
"They were the two same French bulldogs that were stolen from a camper van in Glencar. They matched the description, because you don't usually see those French bulldogs of that colour.
"So, I scanned them and the details weren't one hundred per cent correct on the micro chips, they hadn't been updated.
"So I rang the Gardai in Grange, because I knew Garda Dolan was involved in the investigation and he had the phone number on file, so he rang the gentleman and he was down in Mullingar and he came up that day and claimed his dogs back."
The heartwarming story came as a wonderful surprise for Mr McGann and indeed his two French Bulldogs, who immediately recognised their owner.
Mr McDaniel continued: "He was really delighted with the dogs, they just went over and hopped in to the van like they were never away, they jumped in and sat down!
"It's very unusual for dogs to come back after that length of time, usually they're gone.
"In the bad times like these, I thought it was a great story myself, to actually get the two dogs back to the owner after five months is incredible.
"They still knew him, they were dancing all around him when he came out and he just put down a stool at the front of his camper van and they hopped into the front seat and sat down as if they were going for a spin. It was quite amazing."