A dog “strongly suspected” to have been stolen to breed puppies has been reunited with her family after months away from home.
Cocker spaniel Skye was taken from back garden kennels in Fordoun, Aberdeenshire, in November last year and had not been seen since.
However, the pet was found “safe and well” on Sunday following a search of a property 15 miles away in Brechin, Angus.
Skye, who is now back with her owner, is suspected to have been taken for breeding purposes “due to the rising cost of puppies”.
A 25-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with the incident. A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.
Inspector Allen Shaw, Stonehaven community policing team, said: “We know the massive emotional impact that any dog theft has on their owners and we are delighted to have been able to return Skye safely.
“We will always robustly pursue all lines of enquiry to return any property to its rightful owner.
“I would like to thank all members of the public who assisted us throughout this investigation.”
Keeping your home safe
Constable Mike Urquhart, from the crime prevention team, said most housebreakings are carried out by “opportunist thieves”.
He said: “So you can remove that opportunity by keeping your home and possessions safe.
“Lock the door, even if you’re only out for a short time, and lock your windows too.
“There are a number of additional steps you can also take, as thieves are put off by visible security alarms and carefully directed security lighting.
“There are some excellent wi-fi enabled security systems available, which can send live alerts back to your mobile device if any movement is detected – effectively creating an electronic ring around your property.
“These can also be used to protect outbuildings and kennels.”