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A Cork family who had their dog stolen have been reunited with their pet - after she was discovered in the UK.
Ruby, a springer spaniel, was taken from the Ahern family in Midleton, Co. Cork during the summer, sparking a nationwide search for the pup.
Gardia in Cork posted about the theft on their Garda Southern Region Facebook page and received 100,000 views from all over Ireland and further afield.
One person who saw it was a lady in Somerset in England, who then spotted Ruby on a dogs for sale website in the UK.
She had had her identifying microchip removed and was in poor health when she was discovered, but with the assistance of police officers in Somerset, Ruby was found and taken on the Rosslare ferry back to Ireland and her family - just in time for Christmas, too.
Liz and Bernie Ahern said that they were "thrilled to have Ruby back home" after months without her. "We are so grateful to the lady who spotted Ruby for sale, the Somerset Police, and our Gardaí here in Midleton."
Local Garda Superintendent Adrian Gamble added: "We are delighted to have been a part of Ruby's safe return to her loving family and appeal to all pet owners to take all extra security precautions and ensure their pets are microchipped."
"I especially wish to thank everyone for sharing the social media appeal to help find Ruby, and the lady in the UK who spotted Ruby for sale - these people are the real heroes of the investigation."
Nobody has as of yet been arrested for the theft and investigations are ongoing on both sides of the water.
Dog theft has been a huge issue in recent months, particularly on social media. Springer spaniels such as Ruby can go for more than €2,000 in England.
At the time, Detective Sergeant Michael Reidy of Newcastle West Garda said: "There is a black market for dogs at present. We are aware of a lot of dogs that are being stolen in the Munster region are being sold on in the UK," adding that as many as 50 dogs had been reported stolen in Limerick in the summer of 2020.
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