Family reunited with dog stolen eight years ago after she was found in a police raid on a puppy farm

“We are so thankful to have our Cassie back home... it’s a priceless Christmas present to us as a family.”

Owners of a dog that was stolen eight years ago have been reunited with their pet Cassie - after she was found in a police raid on a puppy farm.

The cocker spaniel was just a puppy when she was stolen from the front garden of her home in 2013.

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Her owners never thought they would see her again, but were shocked when Cassie was returned by officers - along with her three puppies.

She was found by police when they raided a series of puppy farms in November after a tip-off from a member of the public about a stolen dog.

Cassie was found safely along with some puppies who are thought to be hers and that have now been found homes of their own.

‘It’s a priceless Christmas present to us as a family’

A video of the emotional reunion showed the overjoyed family burst into tears as their long-lost dog lept from a police van.

One of the officers who returned Cassie could be heard saying: "She’s not the same Cassie you remember when she was tiny."

The family, from Sussex, said in a statement: "We are so thankful to have our Cassie back home, after eight years since being separated from her. Cassie has settled in very well and is enjoying her daily dog walks.

“As for the three puppies, they have all gone to good homes and are loving their new set family life.

“It’s a priceless Christmas present to us as a family and we want this to bring hope to others who have had their dog lost or stolen.

"Finally, we would like to thank the police and everyone involved in helping us retain Cassie and her puppies back to us."

Sussex Police urge people to lookout for signs of a puppy farm

As a result of the unusual case of Cassie, Sussex Police warned potential buyers to be on the lookout for dogs sold from puppy farms.

Oliver Fisher, Sussex Police Rural Crime Team Inspector, said: “As is often the case, it was useful information from the public that assisted us and we are grateful to them as ever for coming forward.

Dogs can go missing on occasion, but it is extremely rare for dogs to be stolen. I would like to reassure the many thousands of dog owners in the county that with simple precautions, you need not fear this crime.

“I would encourage all dog owners to microchip their dogs, keep an up to date photo of the dog, and in the event that it goes missing, inform the microchip company and supply the police with a photo.

“We recognise the impact a stolen pet can have on a family which is why part of the team’s remit is to investigate stolen dogs.

“In recent months we have recovered stolen dogs, and also assisted the RSPCA in seizing puppies being kept in appalling conditions in puppy farms.

“The inflated prices of puppies has resulted in unscrupulous individuals breeding dogs purely for profit.

“I would urge anyone considering buying a puppy to think carefully about who they buy from. Insist on seeing the home where the puppies and mother are kept.”

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