A stolen dog who went missing in March has been reunited with her family after being found 170 miles away from home.
The three-legged French bulldog was seen jumping for joy as she was reunited with her family in time for Christmas.
Owner Staci Day said: “We weren’t sure we would ever see her again when she went missing, so we are over the moon to have her back in time for Christmas.
“We reported her missing but thought she may have been involved in a road accident as there is a busy road nearby. We thought we might not ever find her, especially as time went by.”
She said the family were “shocked” to get a call from the RSPCA to say Minnie had been found.
“It is so sad she had been neglected and has lost her leg but she doesn’t seem to be letting it bother her and she is back to her playful and loving self,” she added.
Ms Day’s three children, Joshua, 12, Ella, nine, and Jacob, six, were “delighted” with their early and unexpected Christmas present.
Minnie was found badly injured and abandoned at the side of a canal in Liverpool Road, Hapton, near Burnley, by a woman walking her dog.
She was taken into the care of the RSPCA, where she received life-saving surgery including a leg amputation.
A microchip found on Minnie revealed she belonged to a Gloucestershire family, 170 miles away in Moreton-in-Marsh.
She had been reported missing back in March after she disappeared from the garden of her home.
RSPCA animal rescuer, inspector Ryan King, has launched an investigation to find out who dumped Millie.
He said: “It was great to see such a happy ending after all Minnie has endured. She was so excited to see her family.
“As soon as I got her out of the van and started walking towards the house, she started pulling me as she knew where she was going.
“She rushed straight over to Staci with her tail wagging and jumping up at her. She looked so happy to be home – and was enjoying getting lots of fuss and love.
“This really does highlight why microchipping your pet is so important and it is vitally important to tell the chip company yourself if any contact details change.”
Anyone who knows about the whereabouts of Minnie during this period is encouraged to contact the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018.
The charity said it is concerned to see how many dogs are being stolen each year and urged anyone who believes their animal has been taken to contact the police immediately.
A spokesperson said: “We believe the rise in dognapping could be as a result of the surging popularity, and value, of certain ‘designer’ breeds and fashionable crossbreeds.”