A Lissett couple have thanked supporters from Driffield and across the world after being reunited with their stolen pet chihuahuas, following a nationwide search to find them.
The dogs, including a Crufts champion, were taken during a house burglary last Thursday, leaving owners Mal and Lucy Hilton devastated.
Valenchino Chihuahua Xena, who was named Best Puppy in Breed at Crufts 2014, was snatched with four other dogs after the criminals smashed their way into the house on Alison Lane through a window.
Friends of the couple Shelda Hornby and Denise Parker, launched a facebook group to try and find the dogs and the story of the theft spread through the national media.
The publicity campaign proved successful when a 30-year-old jogger came across the dogs dumped on a farm track in Warrington in Cheshire.
He took them to his home address, as they all looked dishevelled and in need of food and water and luckily a visiting friend informed the man of the Facebook appeal and he contacted the police.
Mal and Lucy were finally reunited with the animals on Monday, bringing to an end a traumatic few days for the couple.
Mal said: “I feel elated, the opposite of what I felt when we found they were missing. We were devastated but now they are back we are just speechless.
“We have some marvellous friends I can’t think of a word to describe them. Shelda Hornby and Denise Parker worked tirelessly to help us, it has been a 27/7 thing.”
Although the dogs have widely been reported to be worth tens of thousands of pounds, to Mal they are priceless.
“When people ask me how much these dogs are worth I tell them to write a one and then just keep adding zeroes, they are priceless to me it’s like asking how much you would sell your children for.” he said.
“You never think something like this could happen to your family but it did. In you’re heart you always think you will get them back but in your head you don’t believe it will happen.
“The man who found them is a hero to us, he did the right thing.
“I think these criminals left the dogs because the whole world was on their back, they wouldn’t have been able to sell them, the dogs were just too hot. Sometimes publicity can be a bad thing and sometimes it can be a good thing, in this case it has been a very good thing for us.”
Mal said that he didn’t think the burglary was the work of professionals because of the way they broke into the house.
Fourteen-month old fawn longcoat Xena - whose show name is Valenchino Made of Candy - has won at many shows but her crowning glory was being named Best Puppy in Breed at Crufts last month. She has also qualified for Crufts 2015.
Humberside Police confirmed that intruders entered the house on Allison Lane between 9.30am and 4.50pm on Thursday.
Police are still looking to catch the burglars who also took an array of expensive jewellery, a camera, photographic equipment, a bunch of keys including a car key to the family car and a laptop computer.
If you have any information about the theft call police on 101 with log 493 10/04/14.