A family of four has been reunited with their stolen dog after he was found more than 200 miles away after nearly three years missing.
Joanna and George Kowalczyk, both 45, from Walthamstow, and their two daughters Veronica, 27, and Patrycja, 24, were devastated when their French bulldog called Tina was pinched.
She was abducted by a dog in the back of the family’s van as they entered a Morrisons supermarket in Chingford on May 7, 2021.
The family reported the theft to the police and circulated 90,000 missing posters offering a reward for Tina, but feared they would never see her again.
Now, after almost three years, the Kowalczyk family has been reunited with their beloved canine after he was located via his microchip in Manchester.
Joanna, George, Veronica and Patrycja Kowalczyk (pictured), from Walthamstow, have been reunited with their dog Tina after she was kidnapped almost three years ago.
After Tina was kidnapped from an east London supermarket car park, the devastated family circulated missing posters to try to locate her.
But just three weeks later they faced more headaches when they said they were told to remove the missing signs offering a reward.
The family was eventually told they could keep the signs up and more than 90,000 missing signs were circulated.
Despite their efforts to locate Tina, they were in vain and the family feared they would never see their dog again.
However, that all changed after two years and nine months when the family received an unexpected call from a dog warden in Manchester.
The director informed them that Tina had been found in Manchester, 206 miles from her home. Joanna and George drove into town to pick up Tina last Thursday.
The family has since been reunited with their dog and managed to capture the touching moment on camera.
In the touching clip, an excited Tina quickly ran towards them and appeared to instantly recognize her family. Joanna then said: ‘Hello beautiful, you’re coming home.’
Joanna and George traveled to Manchester to pick up Tina after a local dog warden alerted them to Tina’s whereabouts.
The French Bulldog was kidnapped in Chingford in May 2021 from the back of the family’s van in a Morrisons car park.
In an attempt to recover their beloved Tina, the family circulated 90,000 missing persons posters offering a reward.
The family have also shared a selection of sweet pictures of Tina at her home in Walthamstow.
In one image, Tina looked extremely relaxed as she enjoyed a long-awaited hug with Joanna and George.
Elsewhere, the family posed for a group photo with their beloved Tina, and she looked at peace at finally being home.
Patrycja, 24, said: “I can’t believe it’s true, it’s just surreal.” Now after this time we can give her all the love and affection that she has not received from us in recent years.’
Her older sister Joanna said: ‘Finally the family is back together. There are no words that can truly explain how I feel.’
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: “We are investigating after a dog was reportedly stolen from a car in a supermarket car park in Chingford in May 2021.”
After traveling 200 miles to Manchester, Joanna and George were finally reunited with their French Bulldog.
The emotional clip showed Tina waiting outside to greet Joanna and George after they were kidnapped.
It comes after a dog who went missing just 24 hours after being adopted by new owners was found and rescued in the woods six years later after a rescue team lured her away with a slice of pizza.
Rose, a 12-year-old black Patterdale terrier, disappeared from her home in Surrey in 2017, but survived by living as a stray and eating scraps offered to her by worried strangers.
When she was finally spotted, six miles from her original home in the woods near Crawley, a rescue team devised an elaborate plan to lure her into a cage and get her to safety and, of course, it involved food.
Although Rose is now safe and sound, her owners are not in a position to take her back, meaning she is once again up for adoption.
Nicki Scriven, 41, has worked with the nonprofit company for ten years and took part in the rescue mission.
In the touching clip, an emotional Tina quickly ran to Joanna and George after almost three years of being apart.
She said: ‘It came to light that someone had been feeding her for what they said was ten years and it turned out to be six and a half.
“She was their feral stray dog that they were feeding, and the main lady involved agreed that the dog needed to be caught.”
The team camped out in a nearby van watching the exciting camera footage with pizza in hand. They used hidden live cameras to observe her behavior and planned the best way to get her to safety.
The dog, which had been eating food left for badgers for years, was lured into a metal cage with some chicken, in the woods of Sussex.
After scanning her microchip, the rescue team found Rose’s owners on Facebook and gave them the good news that she was still alive and well.
Unfortunately, due to a change in circumstances, Rose’s family will not be able to take her back, so she will come to the rescue again.