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“I thought he was gone forever”

Created on 10/08/2011 @ 09:45
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The valuable shih tzu dog, stolen from a London property and sold in Welshpool has been reunited with its owner (pictured).
An unsuspecting Welshpool couple paid £100 for the 'designer dog' after seeing an advert in a Broad Street shop window.
The heartbroken couple, who did not wish to be named, took their new purchase to a local vets for a check up only to discover that the animal was microchipped.
The owner, Guy Clinton, was traced and contacted and reported that 'Rizla' his much loved pet had been taken from the balcony of his ground floor flat in Hackney, London, on May 29. He had searched for weeks for the animal.
The couple reported the incident to the police and an arrest was quickly made.  A police spokesperson said: “It appears that the dog was sold through an advertisement in a Welshpool shop. An unsuspecting couple bought the dog in good faith as a family pet but it was soon traced back to one that was stolen in London.
"The original owner in London was overwhelmed to hear that their beloved pet was safe and would soon be reunited with him, and quite shocked at the distance the dog had travelled.”
In a statement the couple said: "We had become very attached to Rizla and are heartbroken to have to hand him back to his rightful owner. But we could not have kept him knowing that someone out there had lost their much loved pet.
"It is incredible to think that this sort of thing is going on and that Rizla had travelled so far but we believed the seller's story that they were having to move and could not take the pet with them.
"Although we only had Rizla for a very short time we had already become very attached and it was difficult to hand him over.
"The police tell us that our money has been returned to them, but it isn't the money. Everyone has been put through so much upset by the actions of some very callous people."
Mr Clinton, said he was overwhelmed to receive the telephone call telling him that his dog was safe. "I am really grateful to the couple for getting Rizla back to me," he said. "I travelled by train to Shrewsbury to collect him and I think the journey has upset him. He is having trouble settling down again. But I thought he was gone forever!”
"On top of that we returned home to find rioters everywhere. There are no shops left in my area. Everything has been destroyed."
The breed has become the 'designer' dog of choice for some the world’s best known figures including Microsoft owner, Bill Gates and Spice Girl, Geri Halliwell, and callous thieves are selling stolen shih tzus for up to £1,000 a puppy.
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