Gardaí are trying to reunite a suspected stolen dog with its owner.
The dog was recovered as gardaí were investigating reports of suspicious activity in the car park on Old Dublin Road, Limerick on July 13.
They spoke to two men who had two male springer spaniel dogs in their possession.
When questioned about their ownership of the dogs, the two men were unable to provide information that gardaí were satisfied with.
They also informed gardaí that the dogs were microchipped.
According to gardaí, both dogs were very nervous, cowering in their cage, so a decision was made to seize them for their welfare pending the verification of ownership.
Both dogs were brought to Henry Street where they were housed in the kennels at the rear of the station.
The two dogs were then brought to a local animal shelter whilst Gardaì carried out further enquiries.
One of the dogs is believed to have been stolen on June 24 in County Cork — he has since been reunited with its owner.
The owner had placed adverts online and posters around their area in an attempt to get back their pet.
Gardaí brought 'Jake' out to the owner's home and were satisfied with the owner’s description of the dog — and its excitement, awareness of his surroundings, and location of his kennel.
Jake's owner, Gerard, said: "I'm absolutely thrilled to get Jake back. I had lost hope cos he was gone for so long.
"I tried everything to get him back — I tried social media and put up posters locally.
"I am extremely grateful to Garda Shane Hayes and Limerick Animal Welfare for looking after Jake and getting him home safely.”
Gardaí are still attempting to reunite the second dog, which is believed to be around 18 months old, with its owner and are appealing to anyone who can help get him home.
Anyone with information can contact Henry Street Garda Station on 061-212400.
Gardaí say that although they are aware of “significant social media activity” regarding the theft and loss of dogs, they have not seen a dramatic increase in the number of dogs being reported as stolen.
During the first six months of 2020, there have been 41 incidents, compared to 38 incidents in 2019.
Fianna Fáil TD for Wexford, James Browne, is seeking a new and separate criminal offence of companion pet theft: means that if someone steals a family pet, such as a dog, it is punished in the same way as if someone steals any non-living object, such as a mobile phone or a power tool."
“The current law does not reflect the emotional harm that can be caused to victims of pet theft.
"The penalty for pet theft should be more severe than for the theft of a non-living property.
"For many people pets are the only family members they have and losing their beloved pet is not the same as losing a piece of property,” he added.