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Cocker spaniel Sampson who was stolen from Bilsington, Ashford in January has been found safe and well

By Sam Williams

A family are over the moon following the safe return of their beloved dog who was stolen nearly two months ago.

Six-year-old cocker spaniel Sampson was found at a property in Ashford yesterday by police during a raid.

He was found along with two-year old Millie, a springer spaniel who was also reported stolen in January from a garden in Stowting Common.

Sampson at home with his favourite slipper
Sampson at home with his favourite slipper

A man was arrested and subsequently charged with handling stolen goods.

Sampson's owners launched an extensive appeal - which included the release of an emotional YouTube video - after he was taken from a garden in Priory Road, Bilsington, Ashford, on Thursday, January 22 after he was let out to go to the toilet.

He is now back home with Pat Rooke, 69, who owns Sampson with her husband Mick, 70, her daughter Suzanne Moore and her grandsons George, 20, and James, 13.

Last night, Suzanne posted on Facebook: "OMG we have him back! Can't stop smiling.

"OMG we have him back! Can't stop smiling..." - Suzanne Moore

"Thank you, thank you, thank you so very much everyone for helping us and giving us so much strength.

"Our family is complete again! Can't stop looking at our boy."

Sampson, and Millie, were found when officers executed a search warrant under the Theft Act at a smallholding and grounds in Egerton Road, Charing Heath, in Ashford yesterday.

They were both found in a kennel at the property.

It was discovered that they had both been reported as stolen by their owners, Millie from a garden in Stowting Common on January 4 and Sampson 18 days later.

Douglas Steven Dunn, 49, of Egerton Road, Charing Heath, Ashford was arrested and subsequently charged with two counts of handling stolen goods.

He was released on bail to answer before Folkestone magistrates on Monday, April 13.


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