Spaniels stolen from Owlcotes Shopping Centre Pudsey returned safely to their owners

The owners of three spaniels which were stolen from the back of a truck at Owlcotes in Pudsey are "over the moon" their pets have been returned.

Thursday, 27th August 2020, 12:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th August 2020, 12:28 pm

Leeds couple Ian Atkinson and Juliette Bunce were left devastated after their beloved dogs were snatched on Saturday afternoon as they nipped into the shops to buy food.

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Desperate appeal after three spaniels stolen from truck at Owlcotes Shopping Cen...

Thieves somehow managed to bypass the truck's security system and drove off with the dogs.

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The dogs have been returned safe and well.

The police became involved and a huge appeal was launched on social media.

Ian' son Chris has now confirmed that the dogs are back at home, but the family do not want to go into specifics due to the nature of the theft.

Chris, 27, said: "They are over the moon - they were stressed and not sleeping so they are just glad to have them back home safe.

"We didn't know where they were being kept but they are fine and healthy."

Eight out of 10 dogs stolen in Leeds in 2019 were never returned to their owners, according police data, so they family count themselves lucky.

"The dogs were a bit shell-shocked at first, but when they realised they were back home they were all giddy," Chris added.

Chris, who also lives in Leeds, wanted to thank everyone who shared their appeal - his post on Facebook was shared an incredible 12,000 times.

He added: "I've never seen anything like it. The reaction was unbelievable.

"Dogs tug at the heartstrings and there's a lot of love for them so people want to get behind it.

"We are just glad they are home safely."

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