A BELOVED family pet that went missing was later found tied up in a sack.
Border collie Lucy disappeared after running out of the house.
Owner Chloe Palmer and daughter Tianna, three, of Mandarin Way in Gosport, were left devastated after hours of searching on Sunday proved futile.
But a day later, five-year-old Crystal Taylor found the dog tied up in a gravel bag in nearby Mantle Close.
Now happily reunited with one-year-old Lucy, Chloe wants to thank the girl who found her dog and warn other pet owners in the area to be vigilant.
Chloe, 22, said: ‘I couldn’t believe someone could do something like that. We were about to take her for a walk but she got out of the house.
‘We were all upset and my three-year-old daughter was in tears – we had brought Lucy for her.
‘Then we got a call from the vet and they said she was found in a gravel bag.
‘I burst into tears because we had been looking for her for so long and we feared the worst. Now I want to warn other dog owners to be careful just in case whoever did it gets hold of someone else’s dog.’
Crystal was playing outside her home in Mantle Close when she heard a rustling sound coming from a large sack next to a bin. She untied the bag and found Lucy inside, still wearing a lead and walking harness.
Crystal’s mum, Sally Taylor, 28, said: ‘I went out to check on the kids where they were playing outside and saw my daughter with the dog. She said it was in a bag and it was tied up. It was a big bag. She heard rustling and untied the bag and found the dog. I went over to my friend’s house and she took the dog to the vet.
‘I’m so happy the owners got their dog back; it was a beautiful dog and it was really friendly.’
Luckily Lucy was microchipped and the Alver Vet practice in Forton Road, Gosport, was able to track down the owners after scanning the chip.
Police said they could not find evidence to show a crime had been committed.
A spokeswoman said: ‘A PCSO on patrol in Gosport was stopped by a member of the public who had located a dog. As a result of initial investigations no criminal offences were identified and no crime was reported.’