A BBC Journalist who appealed for the return of his stolen dog after the theft of a dog walker’s van containing six pets has been reunited with his faithful friend.

Former technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones had appealed for the return of his ageing collie Cabbage, after the theft of the van in East Acton on November 12th. His tweet appealing for the safe return of Cabbage was shared by thousands of followers.

Happily, five of the six dogs, including Cabbage, were later found wandering around Royal Park and the sixth was discovered in Putney, ensuing all the animals were safely reunited with their owners.

This may suggest the thief was only interested in the van and not the pets, but thefts of dogs have risen markedly in recent years, with 317 in London last year compared with 180 in 2016. This makes it a good idea to fit a dog tracker chip, so any stolen dog can be traced and identified, making it easier to reunite it with the owner.

Mr Cellan-Jones, who has been battling cancer and Parkinson’s disease, issued a tweet after getting back his pet of 12 years, saying:  “We – and Cabbage – would just like to thank you all for your kind messages and support today.”

While the former journalist and the other owners in west London had a happy ending to their scary experience, dog owners across the country have been warned that their homes might be getting targeted by pet thieves.

According to the Sheffield Star, householders with dogs have been discovering mysterious small blue stickers on their doors, which have led to suspicions that their homes have been identified by individuals scouting for those keen to steal valuable dogs.

Some householders have reported getting extra security measures installed to guard their properties and their furry friends inside.

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