Stolen dog reunited with his owners in Sussex in 'heartwarming' moment

Watch: Ollie the cocker spaniel is reunited with his family

The heartwarming moment a cocker spaniel is reunited with his family, after he was stolen from kennels in East Sussex last month, has been captured on camera.

Seventeen-month-old Ollie can be seen wagging his tail manically as he was returned to his owners Paula and Mark, who described his theft as 'the worst nightmare'.

Ollie was stolen from Broad Oak Kennels in Udimore Road, Rye, on March 31, sparking a police investigation and a huge ‘doghunt’ across social media.

On April 7, the owner of a house in Brands Hatch heard a scratching and whining at their back door – coming from a small, tan-coloured cocker spaniel.

They contacted Battersea Dogs Home, who identified Ollie from the online appeals.

A scan of his microchip revealed it was him, and Sussex Police were on hand to return Ollie to his owners.

Ollie was taken from kennels on March 31 2022.

Officers arrived at Paula and Mark's house and it wasn't long before Ollie was scooped up in Paula's arms. The cocker spaniel was originally bought for her as a therapy dog.

Mark said: “Him going missing absolutely destroyed her. Now she’s like a changed woman! She’s happy, bubbly, we may even have polished off a couple of bottles of wine. And thankfully Ollie’s fine – probably a bit shell-shocked – but no injuries."

Police officers Sergeant Jon Attfield and PC Zoe King, who had the pleasure of reuniting the pooch with his parents, believe Ollie was released by his captors after such a widespread social media search for him.

Sergeant Jon Attfield said: “Extensive social media coverage and proactive work by officers from multiple policing teams simply made him too hot to handle. Luckily, Ollie has then had the good sense to make his way into someone’s back garden.

“I’d like to thank everybody who shared appeals for information and all the people who supported this investigation.”