A stolen dog has been reunited with his 10-year-old owner thanks to being micro-chipped and registered.
Puggsy was just a few months old when he was taken from young Emily Anduziene’s home in Cavan town.
Her mum Rasa said getting him back was “absolute magic”.
She added: “It is the best present ever for my daughter.
“He went missing nearly two years ago. We did not know what had happened to him.”
The tiny pooch was found in Granard, Co Longford, last week after being dumped in a box along with a female pug and a pug pup.
County dog warden Hilary Robinson reunited the pair last Friday after tracking down Puggsy’s owners. She said the container was found two days earlier by a lady out walking “who heard sounds coming from it”.
The woman picked up the box and rang gardai, who contacted the animal welfare group Hungry Horse Outside. They then contacted Hilary.
She said the animals were in “shabby condition, full of fleas and worms, starving and dehydrated”.
Hilary scanned the dogs, and while the adult female had a chip, it was untraceable.
The young girl pug, possibly a pup of the adult dogs, was not micro-chipped.
Fortunately, Puggsy had been registered to his owners.
And the warden believes it is possible he was stolen to be used to breed.
Hilary added: “Up until last year you could sell a pug puppy for anything from €400 to €700, so it is a great money-making racket.
“Puggsy had shut down. He did not interact with us at all.
“But when he saw his owners and heard their voices, he just lit up. It was wonderful.”
And she emphasised the importance of being a responsible dog owner – which extends beyond micro-chipping and registering your dog.
Hilary said: “Before you buy a puppy, ask to see the parents.
“Take a look at them and make sure you are not funding this sort of racket.”
And she urged people not to buy dogs in car parks, garages or other such locations.
Rasa added: “I am thrilled. I was in shock when Hilary rang me the week after Christmas – I thought he was gone for good.
“It was like a magic surprise. He has been sleeping with Emily since he was returned to us – it is the best present ever for her to get him back.
“We would say to everyone to please micro-chip your dog.”/irishmirror