Joy as stolen dog is reunited with owner who had 'lost hope'

Joy as stolen dog is reunited with owner who had 'lost hope'

THE OWNER of a stolen dog has described his joy as he was reunited with his faithful friend.

'Jake' the springer spaniel was stolen from his owner's home in County Cork on 24 June, and despite multiple social media appeals and placing posters around the locality, owner Gerard admitted he was beginning to lose hope.

But the two have now been reunited following a successful investigation by Gardaí in Limerick.

Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting, grass, outdoor and nature Jake and Gerard have been reunited following a successful investigation by Gardaí in Limerick (An Garda Siochana)

According to Gardaí, two men were spotted with two springer spaniels in a car park on the Old Dublin Road in Limerick on 13 July, but were unable to provide satisfactory information when police enquired about the ownership of the dogs.

Both springers, which were locked in cages, were cowering and "very nervous", and Gardaí seized the dogs until verification of ownership could be found.

Despite the men saying the dogs were microchipped, a trip to the vet proved this was not the case, and one of the men later produced documentation which Gardaí believe were fraudulent.

The dogs were taken into the care of a local animal shelter while Gardaí made further enquiries as to who the dogs-- one aged between 3 and 4 and the other aged around 18 months-- belonged to.

The younger dog has yet to be reunited with his owner, but the older dog-- who Gardaí now know is named Jake-- had a joyful reunion with Gerard earlier this week.

Gerard and Jake had a joyful reunion thanks to Gardaí in Limerick (An Garda Siochana)

Gardaí were careful to make sure Jake was going back to his rightful owner, but said Gerard's description of him matched the dog-- and Jake's excited reaction at seeing Gerard proved the two were best friends.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to get Jake back," Gerard said.

"I had lost hope cause he was gone for so long. I tried everything to get him back – I tried social media and put up posters locally. I am extremely grateful to Garda Shane Hayes and Limerick Animal Welfare for looking after Jake and getting him home safely.”

Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Ber Leetch urged owners to keep a watchful eye on their pets as a spate of dog-nappings continues across the country.

"I would firstly like to thank the member of the public who phoned us when they noticed something suspicious. Assistance like this is invaluable," Sgt Leetch said.

"As we are hearing a lot about dog theft, it can make dog owners feel unsafe and worried about their beloved pets - so we would advise you take extra precautions for their safety.

No photo description available. The second dog, aged around 18 months, has still not been reunited with its owner, and Gardaí are appealing for anyone who has lost a springer spaniel to come forward (An Garda Siochana)

"For your dog’s security, I would recommend they are microchipped so that they can be easily identified if found and returned to the owner. Also place contact details on their collar in the event that they escape. Ensure that your home and garden are secure to prevent theft and deter potential culprits.

"If you have a high value breed of animal you may wish to consider CCTV and other crime prevention measures. If you are buying a dog, or returning a dog to its suspected owners, make sure the person is bona fide” she added.

Gardaí are still attempting to reunite the second dog with its owner and are appealing to anyone who can help get him home.

Anyone with information should contact Henry Street Garda Station on 061-212400.