the owner of a Crufts prize-winning dog has spoken of her joy after being reunited with her dog she says was stolen from outside a shop.
Caroline Warrington’s three-year-old Japanese Spitz was tied up in front of the Lidl store in West Strand, Preston, on Tuesday afternoon.
Caroline, of Walmer Bridge, said she had popped into the store for just a few minutes to buy milk and when she got outside she realised her prize pooch had been taken.
She has now thanked members of the public who helped in the search for Cloud, as well as charity Lost Dogs. Caroline said: “We are just overjoyed he has been found, and we can’t thank enough the people who helped, including the police, Preston City Council, and Lost Dogs.
“Cloud is a really lovely dog with a very placid nature. He’s a pet, but I’ve also been showing in competitions for the past three years.”
Cloud, whose Kennel Club name is Newstart Here’s Kyoodai, was tied to a rail outside Lidl when he was taken at about 2.20pm on Tuesday.
She said: “I don’t normally tie him up outside shops. I was in Lidl for about eight minutes and I’d taken Cloud with me because my car was having an MOT.
“I tried to tie him up where he couldn’t be seen but now I wish I’d never left him. When I realised he had gone I was frantic running around looking to find him.”
Cloud was eventually recovered on Wednesday. He has already appeared at Crufts twice, winning second place in the special puppy (dogs) class last year and a reserve award in the post-graduate dogs class this year. Caroline said: “We were so frantic and distressed and are now just overjoyed he is back.
“When he saw me he ran at me and nearly bowled me over.”
A spokesman from the Kennel Club said: “Unfortunately when dog owners are forced to tie their pets up outside a premises because they are unable to take them inside, it does pose risks.
“In an ideal world all shops and other public places would be dog friendly, which is what the Kennel Club’s Open for Dogs campaign works towards, so that owners would not have to leave their much loved pets tied up outside.
“Other dog owners should take heed that there are people out there who will perceive dogs as valuable.” A 44-year-old woman from Ashton has been arrested on suspicion of theft and has been released on bail until October 30.