Stolen puppy returned to owner anonymously in Barking

A stolen puppy was returned to its Dagenham home last night after being taken in a burglary only six days earlier.

Leah Montgomery, 31, of Harrison Road, was given the 12-week-old Dogue Du Bordeaux, named Ralph, as a birthday present from her parents only a few weeks ago.

When she returned home on Monday, September 12, from a meal out with her children in celebration of their starting at secondary school, she found her bedroom curtains closed with the light on and the back-door smashed in.

The intruders had taken Ralph along with two watches and a charm bracelet, it was the second burglary at the property in just five months.

“I was devastated,” said Mrs Montgomery. “I didn’t think I would see him again. I really didn’t have much hope.”

She added: “I sat the kids down and told them to stop crying and that he would be safe.”

After phoning police and putting up posters around Dagenham, the mother of two was awoken at around 4am last night by the sound of barking. Thinking it was probably a neighbour’s dog she went to the window just in case, only to see Ralph tied to the front gate by a length of rope.

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“I was really pleased that he was back. I was worried that whoever he was with was hurting him,” Mrs Montgomery said. “He has lost lots of weight within a week. I could see his ribs.”

The children were excited to see him in the morning insisted the proud owner, until he starts chewing their shoes again.

Depite Ralph’s safe return, Police are appealing for information from anyone who was offered a dog for sale or who might know the identity of those involved.

Contact 101 and quote reference number 5115807/12 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 to help with the investigation.