A STOLEN chihuahua has been reunited with her owner two years after being taken.

Burglars broke into a Gorse Hill address in October 2019 and took the female pet along with some household items.

Despite their best efforts, Wiltshire Police could not find the stolen dog.

Then suddenly, earlier this month, the original owner received a letter from the UK pet microchip registration and database service Petlog telling her that someone was trying to change ownership of her dog. 

Officers then reopened the case and made enquiries which led them to find the dog at an address in Buckingham - with a new owner.

She was being cared for by a woman whose daughter had bought the animal from a pet shop in London in December 2019.  The chihuahua was fit and well, but pregnant.  

The legal owner and the pet shop customer discussed the best solution to this situation with the police, which was tricky as the woman in Buckingham had bought the dog on good faith and not known it had been stolen. 

She agreed to allow the original owner to look after the pet and officers checked with a Buckingham vet to ensure that it was safe for the pregnant dog to be transported back to Swindon.

The happy reunion happened earlier today.

Inspector Gill Hughes said: "This was a case where a person bought a dog from a pet shop believing it to be legal, only to find out later that the animal was indeed stolen property. 

"I would urge anyone buying a dog or puppy to do their research beforehand and to go through the check list of do's and don'ts in buying one.  Even if you are purchasing from a shop. 

"Thankfully, the dog - along with puppies - has been reunited with its rightful owner now. 

"This also has a message in the tale - as the dog was microchipped and registered with Petlog, when someone went to try and change the ownership it was flagged to the original owner. 

"Without that, I doubt we would have ever found the animal.  It pays to microchip your pets." 

To avoid buying a stolen or farmed puppy, Wiltshire Police advises that you always make sure you see the mother and her pups together, and never buy a puppy if you have doubts about the breeder or situation as buying the puppy will only fund their illegal operation.

More advice is available on the RSPCA website.