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Last Updated: Thursday June 12 2008 05:46 GMT

Stolen dog back with owners

Brambles the dog has been reunited with his owner three years after being stolen

A dog has been reunited with its owners three years after it was stolen, thanks to its microchip.

Brambles was taken in September 2005 from the garden of her home in Dorchester, Dorset, when she was two.

Her owners had given up hope of ever seeing the dog, a saluki greyhound cross, again.

But RSPCA inspectors investigating a cruelty report scanned a dog in Bristol and the microchip showed that it was actually Brambles.

Her owner Sarah Thornewill said it was "brilliant" to have Brambles back.

More about microchips:
They're fitted a bit like an injection
They don't hurt the animal
Once in, they can't move or be seen
They cost around 20
They can be used on most animals
"After so long, we thought that we would never see Brambles again, but this just goes to show how worthwhile microchipping is."

The RSPCA is starting a month-long campaign to tell people about the benefits of having pets microchipped.

Inspector John Atkinson said: "The RSPCA has been able to reunite cats and dogs who have been given up for lost with their owners months or even years after they first went missing thanks to a microchip."