A thrilled Erith dog owner has been reunited with her stolen puppy - who she thought she had lost forever.

Cookie - a six-month-old Staffordshire mastiff American bulldog cross bitch - was taken from her home address in Neptune Walk on May 14.

Owner, June Gosling had left Cookie inside her house at 9am but when she returned at 2pm Cookie was missing.

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Ms Gosling posted an appeal on Facebook for anyone who had seen Cookie to contact her ad received several messages to say that her beloved pet had been seen with a man on Picardy Street, Belvedere.

On May 20 Met Police officers spotted a man with a dog that looked like Cookie on the road - the dog was taken to a local vet where her microchip revealed that it was Cookie.

A 23-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods and is currently on bail whilst police continue with their investigation.

Cookie was immediately reunited with her thrilled owner who said: "I am over the moon to be reunited with my baby cookie - she is family too me, it was like loosing a child. 

"It was the worst week of my life and I had almost given up hope."

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Acting Sergeant Chris Molnar, from Belvedere Safer Neighbourhoods Team, said: "This is a lovely story that shows that social media, when used correctly, can give us huge assistance with investigating an allegation of crime."

From April 6 2016 the law is changing and people who keep dogs as pets must have them micro-chipped.