Dognappers stole two beloved pets from a family’s garden.

The Starleys, of Upper Lewes Road in Brighton, were put through 48 hours of hell after their dogs were stolen.

They were only reunited after one dog was thrown over a fence and the other was found wandering down Lewes Road with half its tail cut off.

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of theft of a canine.

The dogs – bichon frise Lula and shi tzu-cross Rollo – were stolen from the garden of the family home at about 5.30pm on Monday, January 9.

Mother-of-four Emma, 36, and police were given a tip-off that the animals had been taken to a house nearby.

When officers called at the address Lula was seen to be thrown over its garden fence.

Mrs Starley was told by neighbours a man had been seen walking away with Rollo and spent the next two days desperately searching for him.

Yesterday morning (January 11) the family received a call to say he had been handed in at Freshfield Way-based Coastway Vets.

The man who dropped off the dog said it had been found wandering along Lewes Road and had almost been hit by a car.

Mrs Starley said: “I’m never going to let them out of my sight ever again.

“It was a horrible thing to go through. The kids didn’t stop crying. But when we got Rollo back it was the best feeling in the world.

“Both dogs are a bit shaken and for some reason part of Rollo’s tail has been cut off but otherwise they are fine.

“I can’t understand how anyone could do this. It’s evil.”

A 38-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of theft of a canine and questioned before being released on bail until February 6.

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact Sussex Police on 101 quoting serial 1389 of January 9.

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