Stolen dog reunited with owners seven years later
A much-loved family pet stolen by burglars seven years ago is back home - after turning up 200 miles away.
Molly the 10-year-old Jack Russell has been reunited with owners Brian and Pauline Berry after the dog was picked up by Warwickshire Police.
Officers traced the Berrys through Molly's microchip but were stunned to hear the dog had been reported stolen from kennels at the couple's home in County Durham back in 2008.
Police were initially called to reports of dogs running loose on the street in the town of Leamington Spa on July 23, this year.
Molly, who was among the roaming pack, was discovered badly emaciated while her teeth were in very poor condition.
But the plucky pet is now back on the road to recovery at the family home, according to Mr Berry.
The 68-year-old retired car mechanic said: "When my wife had the call from the police, we just couldn't believe it - and neither could they.
"At first I think the police thought she said Molly had gone missing seven weeks ago, and she had to repeat herself."
Back in 2008, Molly was taken along with her four-day-old litter of pups which also saw her separated from sister Jack Russell Megan.
The puppies are still missing but Megan and Molly are now back together and have been inseparable, Mr Berry added.
Police arranged for Molly to be placed in kennels while Mr Berry and his 64-year-old wife Pauline, a retired carer, drove the 200 miles from their home in Houghton le Spring to collect the dog last week.
Asked if he thought she recognised her owners, Mr Berry said: "I am 100% positive she knew immediately who we were.
"But to start with she was in such bad shape the people at the animal shelter had to warn us before we saw her.
"However, after about 10 minutes of stroking though, she was licking my face."
He added: "I feel absolutely brilliant at the moment, it's such a one-off.
"It just goes to show, you can never give up hope and of course without her microchip she would never have made it back to us."
Pc Natasha Susnik, of Warwickshire Police, said: "This story really highlights the importance of getting your pets micro-chipped, and making sure that their details are registered and kept up to date."
Police enquiries into where the dog has been for the past seven years are still on-going but no arrests have been made.