Published: 15:28, 21 July 2021
| Updated: 16:12, 21 July 2021
A family have shared their delight after their stolen dog was tracked down 140 miles away in Oxford – months after she disappeared.
Cocker spaniel Milly, 11, was one of two dogs snatched from her owners' back garden in the village of Badlesmere, near Faversham, at about midnight on April 23.
CCTV footage at the family's home in Fisher Street Road captured two men breaking into the dogs' kennel, before appearing to make-off in a car.
To the family's joy, 13-year-old Lucy was found wandering in Maidstone's Mote Park a couple of weeks later following a widely shared appeal and was safely brought home.
But the whereabouts of the other dog – 11-year-old Milly – remained a mystery until last Monday, when her owners finally got the call they thought might never come.
Milly had been found wandering the streets in Banbury, Oxfordshire, along with another dog and had been handed in to a vets.
Owner Shayne, who does not wish to give his surname, said: "A lovely vet there found us through Milly's microchip.
"Within a few hours it was almost as though she hadn't been away..."
"Somebody else tried to claim Milly back from the vets, along with the other dog which was registered to them.
"But the vet wasn't satisfied they were the rightful owners and called the police.
"They contacted us and we went to collect her."
Shayne and his family made the six-hour round trip to bring Milly home.
He says her return is "completely unexpected".
"I had sort of made the decision to give up expecting to see them again," he said. "Because it's easier to draw a line under it when you don't think they're going to come back.
"She was a bit disorientated when we collected her but she soon fell back into her old mannerisms and clearly recognised where she was and who she was with when she was in the car.
"When we got her home, within a few hours it was almost as though she hadn't been away."
This is the second time Milly, aged 11, has been stolen and has made her way back home.
She was taken from the same back garden as a puppy a decade ago but was soon returned to her owners on that occasion after being put up for sale in Hastings.
Milly and Lucy now appear delighted to be reunited with one another and have already been out helping Shayne around his farm.
Shayne says his young children are also "ecstatic" to have their beloved pet back.
"They took some photos into school and have shown their school friends," he said.
"It's incredible. Let's just hope that other people manage to get their missing animals back too."
Police are investigating the incident.
A spokesman said: "At present no arrests have been made and officers are continuing to review the circumstances."
Anyone who believes they may have relevant information is asked to call Kent Police on 01622 604100, quoting reference 46/68566/21.