A rider has been reunited with her “beloved” dogs following a huge public campaign.
Deniqua Westwood appealed for information after two of her dogs were stolen along with clippers and grooming equipment.
A three-year-old blind St Bernard, called Betty (pictured, below), and a two-year-old bullmastiff named Walter (pictured, top) were taken overnight from a property in Cockerham, Lancs, on 25 November.
The burglary was reported to police, while Deniqua also launched her own search and social media appeal with a £20,000 reward, which went viral online.
A member of the public contacted her after seeing the dogs and Deniqua found them in derelict “hell hole”.
She said she cried “tears of unimaginable happiness” after being reunited with the pair.
Deniqua told H&H she wants to thank the “wonderful” people who shared her appeal on social media and the “good people” who contacted her after sighting the dogs.
“The people who spotted the dogs won’t take a penny of the reward, they just said they love dogs,” she said.
“[When they were taken] I hoped somebody had stolen them because they wanted them and they were being cared for.
“To find them in squalor like that [was awful].”
She said she found the dogs in a tiny box room full of excrement with just a bucket of water, and there were marks on the door where the dogs had attempted to escape.
“The couple who notified me of the sighting of my dogs will forever be in my heart and I owe them a lifetime of gratitude,” she said on Facebook.
“The past few days [before the dogs were found] have been a total nightmare — I cried last night at the thought of having to wake up this morning. Broken hearts are the most painful of all and I wouldn’t wish this nightmare on anyone.”
Article continues below…
You might also be interested in:
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said it was called shortly before 9.30am on 26 November and its investigation “remains ongoing”.
“We started an investigation which included a social media appeal,” the spokesman told H&H.
“We understand that the owner was contacted directly via social media shortly after to reports of a sighting of the dogs in the Appley Bridge area.
“This resulted in the owner being reunited with her beloved family pets.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday