Dog-napped Dave is delighted to be home – and got dressed in some of his favourite outfits to prove it!
The pedigree pug was snatched from outside a shop while his owner Joanne Dunwell was picking up groceries.
She said Dave was a popular sight among local schoolchildren for his penchant for dressing up in a variety of novelty neckerchiefs, hats and festive fancy dress costumes.
A police investigation was launched and a £500 reward was offered for his safe return.
And – after Dave’s plight was printed in The Star last week – it wasn’t long before he and Joanne were reunited.
“I had a phone call from a young woman saying her mum had found him tied up in a park in Mexborough,” said Joanne, aged 44, of Sheffield Road, Killamarsh.
“She came to drop him off for us and he was fit and well – in fact he had put on weight. It’s absolutely amazing to have him home. It’s like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”
Dave, aged four, dresses up in costumes at Halloween, and Christmas jumpers during the festive season.
He keeps Joanne and her partner, Andrew Oxley, 50, and their children Jacob, 14, and Laura, 12, entertained by seeming to think he is human instead of a dog.
Joanne said: “He is absolutely adorable. He doesn’t know he is a pug, he thinks he is a human. His favourite thing is to be snuggled up.
“The kids haven’t stopped screaming with excitement since he got home. It’s as if he’s never been away.”
Joanne thanked everybody who had contacted her since his dog-napping.
In particular she thanked the Killamarsh team from Derbyshire Police, who were quick to act after he was reported stolen from outside Khela’s convenience store on Rotherham Road, Killamarsh.
She said: “Police suspect that after The Star came out whoever took him panicked. The police have been amazing. The officer who was assigned to the case has been great and rang me every day.”