A stolen French bulldog puppy is back with her owner five years after being snatched from her front garden.

Shona Macleod last saw little Roxie pottering about her front garden in March 2017 until she devastatingly disappeared aged just 18 weeks old.

Despite appealing for help in tracking Roxie down, Shona had no luck and conceded her beloved pet had been swiped for good.

Earlier this month however a council worker arrived at Shona's door with a dog she assumed was her other Frenchie, but was stunned to discover it was Roxie all grown up.

The now fully grown pooch had been spotted wandering alone through a local park on October 30 – her 5th birthday – and was identified through her microchip, the Mirror reports.

Mrs Macleod told BBC Cumbria: “I thought it was my new dog that had escaped from the garden when I saw the council worker with a dog at the door.

"I cried my eyes out when I realised it was Roxie. [It’s] like she’s never been away.

"She's not timid, so although she hasn't been looked after properly I don't think she's been badly treated.”

Roxie is now settling back into life with the family at their home in Carlisle, Cumbria.

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The lovable pooch loves nothing more than playing with fellow French bulldog, Bear, who Shona bought earlier this year.

In the four years and eight months since she went missing, the Macleod family has grown with two more children being added to the brood.

Shona added: "Bear is much bigger but quite dopey and just loves Roxie, they're both getting on together so well.

Shona is now urging dog owners to get their pets microchipped so that they can be reunited with their canine companions in the event of them being lost or stolen.

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Microchips give the animal a unique code that can be scanned and matched to the owner's contact details.

A Carlisle City Council spokesperson said: "This case shows how important it is to get your dog microchipped and also to keep the details up to date.

"When our stray dog service found her we were able to check the microchip and get the registered details of the person who reported her stolen."

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