Heartwarming footage has captured a dog being reunited with her owners nearly a year after allegedly being stolen from a garden.
Honey, a one-year-old cavapoo, went missing from Shrewsbury in July last year and was found around 50 miles away on a country lane in Cheshire on May 22.
The female pup ‘s microchip was scanned by local dog groomer Carol Pinchin, who was left horrified by her “completely matted fur” measuring almost three inches thick.
She contacted the dog’s owners and asked for permission to cut back her fur before dropping her off the following morning.
A clip shows Honey cautiously approaching her owner, who crouches on the floor, before jumping up and frantically wagging her tail as she recognises him. She then runs behind him to greet another family member.
Carol, who works at Jayde Dog Grooming, told the Mirror: “”She just ran up to her owner like ‘oh hi somebody else’ and then she stops for a minute, as if she’s like ‘hang on’, took a split second and then just realises.
“That little lightbulb moment in her head like ‘oh it’s dad!’ and then runs to her mum, it’s so nice to see.”
Recalling when she first found Honey, she said: “I’ve been a dog groomer for 35 years and have seen some dreadful sights of pets that have come in to be groomed, but she was absolutely matted to the skin.
“I had to actually WhatsApp the owner so he could see the dog in the car and even then he said ‘are you sure it’s not for money’.
“Obviously the dog looked completely different, so I pulled the fur away from her eyes and straight away he said ‘that’s my girl’. I said ‘if you don’t mind I’ll take her home to shave her’ then dropped her off the following day.”
Speaking on whether she believes Honey was stolen, the 49-year-old added: “They live in a very rural area and their garden is completely enclosed bar one gate that goes out.
“Now how is she going to get from Shrewsbury to Ellesmere Port? Nobody has seen that dog in all that time. She’s not been to a dog groomer or vets.
“We never shaved her down before that, and the chip reader will pick up through matted fur, so she couldn’t have gone to get any veterinary treatment.
“She has been hidden I believe, that’s what I really think. She’s been kept out of eyesight because if somebody saw that dog walking down the street someone would say something.”
Fortunately, Honey’s owners had updated her microchip details just two days before she was spotted by a passerby.
Carol said: “It gives people hope because hundreds and hundreds of animals are stolen.
“It might just make someone go to a vet and get them scanned, go to a groomers, or realise the importance of checking their chips because not all of them are registered.”