Family's joy at getting stolen dog Charley back

By Dan Santy Tuesday 04 December 2012 Updated: 11/12 15:43

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Buy photos » Paul Tolin is reunited with bulldog pup Charley after she was stolen by burglars five weeks ago. (s)

CHRISTMAS has come early for the family whose stolen puppy was returned to them after being rescued by two strangers in Birmingham.

Paul and Kelly Tolin were heartbroken when their young bulldog, Charley, was taken from their Cawston home in a break-in just three weeks after they first got her.

In the five weeks since, Mr Tolin mounted a Twitter campaign which attracted a following of thousands including people in America and celebrities like Jonathan Ross and Julian Clary.

And it paid off, with two women who followed the Twitter page spotting Charley being walked outside a school in Sheldon, Birmingham, last Thursday (November 29).

After confronting the woman - who said she had been given the dog as a present - the police were called and a scan revealed she was indeed the missing pup.

Mr Tolin told the Observer of his family's joy at being reunited with Charley, who he had bought for £2,000 as a birthday present for his wife.

"We're just delighted to have her back. It's hard to express how we're feeling, and the support we've received has been amazing," he said.

"We had pretty much given up, despite all the support we had received.

"As time went by the campaign just got bigger and bigger. We had people from America asking questions and giving us their support."

Since Charley was taken in October the family had received numerous tip-offs saying she had been spotted, but Mr Tolin believes last week was the first genuine sighting.

Police are still trying to trace the thieves who stole Charley from her Cresswell Place home on the afternoon of Wednesday October 24.

Mr Tolin said: "It was a very brave thing for two strangers to do for us, so we're very grateful to them.

"Everyone following us on Twitter is ecstatic. The messages haven't stopped coming in since we got her back.

"She settled back in with us very quickly. We were a bit worried she wouldn't, but she remembers us and it's as if she was never away.

"It's great to get her back so close to Christmas."

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