Oakham family re-united with puppy who was stolen in Greetham
An Oakham family has been left emotional after the power of social media helped them to find their stolen dog.
The Woodward family was notified on Wednesday (November 18) that their dog, Alby, had been stolen while on a walk in Greetham.
Alby was seen being taken into a white van by two men who said they were taking him to the vets.
Matthew Woodward, Alby’s owner, said: “A witness saw him being taken into this van and that was it - they drove off.
“Obviously from that we put it on social media.
“The Dogs Lost Trust posted a campaign and everyone shared it - it got shared up to 17,000 times.”
The family got various calls from people who, after seeing the post on social media, had spotted nine-month-old Alby. Matthew relayed all of the information to the police who also had details of the van.
Matthew, 46, said: “We got a call from the police at about 2am [yesterday] saying he had been handed in at Kettering Police Station.
“When we had been speaking with the Dogs Lost Trust they had said ‘make him so he’s hot property, then they can’t do anything with him or sell him. Put his face all over social media’.
“If it wasn’t for them he wouldn’t have been found - they have been a great help.”
The period of time while Alby was still missing was a ‘horrendous’ experience for the family-of-five.
Matthew said: “I was absolutely devastated beyond belief.
“It’s the first dog we’ve had as a family so it was like someone taking our baby.
“We have three children - they were beside themselves.”
Following a check at the vets, Alby - who is a cross between a springer spaniel and poodle - returned safely home with the family.
Matthew said: “He’s very chilled, that’s the problem. He’s as soft as anything .
“Anyone could give him a treat and he’d roll on the floor for a belly rub.”
The family has expressed their thanks for all of the people who helped share the posts about Alby on social media.
“It just goes to show that even with everything going on there’s people out there who will help you,” said Matthew.
“Without all that and the support he wouldn’t have been found.
"Some people argue for social media and against. I’m probably in the middle, but in this instance if it wasn’t for Facebook and Instagram it would have been a different story.”