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Stolen daschund which sparked nationwide interest found in Horley
11:00am Sunday 1st September 2013 in News
A dachsund which was one of two dogs stolen by thieves from a boarding kennels in Kent, sparking appeals and a big police search, has been found in Horley.
The pet, called Sophie and aged about eight, was found wandering alone in a street by a passer-by, who took her to a nearby vet.
There she was identified by microchip as one of two dogs which had been stolen from a boarding kennels in Dwelly Lane, Edenbridge, overnight between Sunday, August 4, and Monday, August 5.
The thefts sparked nation-wide interest thanks to social media.
Surrey Police's appeal for information was joined by writer and broadcaster Ben Fogle, a close family friend of Sophie's owner, Penelope.
In a touching message to help the search, he said: "Pet owners will understand how distressing this has been, not just for Sophie and Fergus but even more so for their human families. “The theft from the safety of their temporary home is terrible, but not knowing where they are, if they are frightened, or hungry or alone, or even still alive, is devastatingly painful for their owners.”
Talking about his relationship with Penelope, he said: "Thirty years ago, as a child, I worried that when my dog died I would be separated from her forever. “At that time my parents didn't have a garden. Penelope calmed my worries and told me that when the time came, Honey could be buried in the garden at her home. “Eventually that's what happened. I'm so grateful to Penelope for understanding how attached we are to our pets."
The much-loved pet daschsund was found in Horley last Thursday afternoon (August 29), and then reunited with her owner, who police described as “joyful.”
The other dog, a brown working Cocker Spaniel called Fergus, was found earlier thanks to social media.
Sergeant Mike Simmonds of the Tandridge Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: "Sophie was a little malnourished but otherwise fit and well.”
Sgt Simmonds said: “She is a little sweetie and was very pleased to be reunited with her delighted owner.”
He continued: “Social media no doubt played a key part in the success we have had in returning these stolen dogs to their rightful owners. “The extensive interest, especially on Twitter, no doubt assisted in us raising awareness of both Fergus and Sophie being stolen. “In fact, Fergus was found after being spotted on a dog walker's Facebook page, which had shared the details.”
Fergus was reunited with his owners on the afternoon of Sunday, August 25, after police received an anonymous tip-off.
Sgt Simmonds said: "I have been inundated with thanks from people across the country who have followed the appeal and subsequent updates posted by me and others on Twitter.” But he added: “I would still urge anyone who thinks they have information that might assist in our investigation into the thefts to contact us as soon as possible.”
Anyone who has any information should call Surrey Police on 101, quoting reference TD/13/3683, or call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.