A pug breeder’s puppy was snatched from a dog show – and then returned 24 hours later by a mysterious couple.
Sue Lee, 69, travelled from her home in Sheffield to a dog show in Lanark, South Lanarkshire, to take part in an agility trial with her eight-month-old pug puppy, Tabitha.
But her hopes of a fun day out with other dog trainers were dashed when her little pet was swiped by two women when Sue’s back was turned.
She faced a heart-wrenching 24 hours with no idea who had taken Tabitha, or whether the puppy, worth around £1200 had come to harm or been sold on.
She reported Tabitha missing within minutes of the theft at the Scottish Pug Dog Club Championship.
Police did attend the venue, but it was the power of social media which brought Tabitha back to her distraught owner.
Sue had planned to return to Sheffield that night, April 14, but instead stayed in her camper van in Lanark, determined to find her pet.
After posting photos of Tabitha, and of CCTV showing two women holding the fawn-and-black pooch and walking across a car park, Sue received a mysterious phone call.
She had offered a reward for Tabitha’s safe return, but the caller refused to accept it and insisted on meeting in Glasgow.
Sue refused to do that, and a meet was arranged near the dog show venue.
The man stayed in the car, while a woman handed over Tabitha, who had been well-looked after.
Sue said: “I plastered the pictures of the car and the women on Facebook and a lot of people recognised it.
“I then got a call from a man who had Tabitha and said he would meet me if I took all the stuff off Facebook, which I didn’t do.
“He said he had looked after her and came to Lanark to give her back to me. A dark haired female brought her back to me at the motorhome.
“I thanked her for returning her and she said the children would miss her, but I said not as much as I had.”
She does not know whether the woman who returned Tabitha had been sold her as a family pet.