The King Charles spaniel has a heart condition and was a found shivering wreck
A Cambridge family were left distraught when their elderly King Charles spaniel was stolen and dumped back on their doorstep with duct tape round her muzzle.
They now hope DNA evidence from a cigarette butt may help to identify the perpretrators.
Molly, a nine-year-old King Charles Spaniel, was dognapped yesterday afternoon (April 30) in Pryor Close, Milton, when she was briefly let off the lead.
She reappeared this morning at 10.30am covered in dirt, with duct tape, complete with a stray cigarette butt, stuck around her muzzle.
The theft – the latest in a series of suspected dog naps in Cambridgeshire involving a roving transit van – sparked a successful social media campaign to find her.
Owners Anastasia Jolley, 37, and partner Robert Day, 43, told the News they were so grateful nine-year-old Molly, who has a heart condition, was found in time.
Anastasia said:”We didn’t get a wink of sleep last night – we thought they’d bag her up and dump her in a brook.
“This morning Robert was sitting crying. I have never seen him cry in the seven years I have known him.
“He saw a van at the top of the road… then she was on the front doorstep.
“She was covered in dirt, looking very shaken.”
It was then the couple discovered Molly’s muzzle was duct-taped.
Anastasia continued: “She must have barked or made noise. When she came back there was silver duct tape around her mouth and nose.
“They didn’t realise they caught a cigarette butt on the tape – it may have DNA on it. We will submit it to police.
She added: “We wished she could speak – we’d ask her: ‘What have you seen – what have they done to you?'”
Dog thefts in Cambridgeshire
It’s been a short yet painful ordeal for the family, including Anastasia’s two young children, and Robert’s mum Christine Day whose care Molly was in when she was bundled away.
It is believed Molly was stolen after she was mistaken for a puppy due to her sweet disposition and short-groomed coat.
People as far away as America and Australia messaged the family and helped to spread the word.
Meanwhile a local business also offered its support by printing posters and banners.
Anatasia’s partner Robert said he was overwhelmed by the support the family have received online.
He said: “I would like to say how touched I am that there was such a response. I didn’t expect a fraction of it.
“We are so so pleased the pressure of social media has got her back.”
She will now be taken to the vets for a full check-up and Robert promises to give Molly a nice bath.
A Cambrigeshire police spokeswoman said: “We were contacted at about 7pm on Monday evening (30 April) with reports of a suspected dog theft in Milton.
“The dog had been in the front garden of a house in Pryor Close between 3.30pm and 4pm and had gone missing.
“Today (2 May) we were informed the dog had returned, circumstances being that it arrived back on the door step, with a small bit of tape under its mouth.
“There are no lines of enquiry therefore the crime will be filed pending any further information coming to light.”
Please support the campaign to STOP #PetTheft and sign the petition:- https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/212174.
Photo credit:- Molly the dog is reunited with her owners in Milton after being returned following her kidnap ordeal, owners from left Rob Day, Anastasia Jolley and Christine Day. Picture: Keith Jones