1. ITV Report

"We are all heartbroken": Assistance dog of autistic 12-year-old found dead

Lottie was stolen in a burglary in December 2019 Credit: BPM Media

The assistance dog of a 12-year-old autistic girl has been found dead after it was stolen last year.

Three-year-old Dalmatian Lottie belonged to Chloe Hopkins, but she was taken from the family home by burglars in December 2019.

TV presenter Chris Packham, who is autistic, was among the supporters that raised awareness of the search for Lottie after she was stolen.

The family hoped that Lottie and Chloe could be reunited, but Chloe's mum Gemma Hopkins was told on Sunday (March 8) that a dog believed to be Lottie had been found dead.

Announcing the news on social media, Gemma said: “This is something I'd never thought I'd have to post. In fact, I'm not sure it has sunk in."

A photo of Lottie, the assistance dog, lying down on grass Credit: BPM Media

Yesterday morning we got the call we didn’t want. Lottie has been found, but passed away."

“Having to identify her was the hardest thing I've done by miles and I cannot thank everyone enough for the shares of posters via social media."

"I've now got to break my 12-year-old’s heart tonight. We are all heartbroken."

“We never wanted this ending we kept hopeful, goodbye my crazy bunch of spots. RIP Lottie.”

– Gemma Hopkins

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