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A dog stolen from her family's home in March was reunited with her owners just in time for Christmas.
Minnie the French Bulldog was found dumped with severe leg injuries 170 miles away from her owner Staci Day's home in Gloucester.
The RSPCA was called to help Minnie who needed life-saving surgery to amputate her leg.
The animal charity has launched an investigation following reports that a dog had been found abandoned with a severe leg injury at 11pm on November 28.
The leg wound had been bandaged, not by a trained professional, and was severely infected.
Minnie had no feeling in her severely damaged limb, and a vet decided to save the poor dog she would need an emergency leg amputation.
She was then taken to the RSPCA’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital where she had to have her leg amputated further. It was here that a microchip was found which revealed her owner’s details and the fact she had been reported as missing in March.
All healed, Minnie was returned home, where she immediately recognised her emotional owner Staci Day and ran up to fuss her.
Staci’s three children Joshua, Ella and Jacob were also delighted about their early and unexpected Christmas present.
RSPCA officer, known only as Ryan, has launched an investigation to find out who dumped Millie in her neglected state, said it was a happier part of his job returning the much-loved pet to her family.
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He told LancsLive : “It was great to see such a happy ending after all Minnie has endured. She was so excited to see her family.
“As soon as I got her out of the van and started walking towards the house she started pulling me as she knew where she was going.
“She rushed straight over to Staci with her tail wagging and jumping up at her. She looked so happy to be home – and was enjoying getting lots of fuss and love."
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The family have definitely been making up for lost time with their precious pooch.
Staci said: “It is so sad she had been neglected and has lost her leg but she doesn’t seem to be letting it bother her and she is back to her playful and loving self. The children are really thrilled to have her home and have been playing and fussing her – this has made it a perfect Christmas."
Now the task begins to work out what happened the sandy-coloured pup from when she was stolen from the garden until she was callously dumped.
Ryan added: “We don’t know where she has been for the past eight months but she has clearly been neglected and then to be dumped like rubbish at the side of a cold canal is just awful.
"If the dog-walker had not spotted her I don’t think Minnie would have survived much longer so I am grateful to the woman who found her.
“I am appealing for anyone who knows about the whereabouts of Minnie during this period to contact the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”
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