A dog owner has been reunited with his stolen pet – thanks to a massive poster blitz.
Jim Lyner, 57, was left distraught when thieves stole his six-year-old Jack Russell Tilly after breaking into his van outside the Morrison's supermarket in Swinnow Road, Bramley on November 22.
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Mr Lyner, of Birkenshaw, who runs a horsebox hire business, immediately launched a massive publicity campaign in a bid to get his beloved dog back.
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He handed out and pinned up more than 4,000 posters and leaflets asking for information about the dog which was micro-chipped and distinctively marked.
He feared that thieves may have deliberately targeted the animal in the hope of claiming a reward.
And Mr Lyner, given Tilly as a puppy when he was recovering from throat cancer, even set up a special Facebook page on the internet to highlight the search which gathered 1,600 followers.
His persistence paid off when a couple living on the Leeds-Bradford border phoned to confess they might have inadvertently bought the stolen dog after reading one of the posters in the B&M store in Thornbury.
He said: "We had put up posters all over the place and into Thornbury and Shipley. We had phone calls implying Tilly was in certain areas.
"A lot turned out to be time wasters but we had to follow them up. Then we had this phone call from the couple. We went to their home and there was Tilly in the lounge. It was not just her tail that was wagging, it was the whole of her back end."
Tilly – who had been called Molly by the couple – is now back home, fit and well, with Mr Lyner and his wife Lesley.
He said the couple, who did not wish to be named, had admitted they had bought Tilly for 'an amount'.
Mr Lyner said: "They had mentioned to someone that they were looking for a more mature dog for their lad and then they had heard that someone had a dog to sell.
"They said that they should have done more checks on getting the dog and they would not take any money off us."