Gardaí in Limerick have reunited an owner with his missing dog 'Jake'.
The springer spaniel was recovered on the Old Dublin Road in Co. Limerick after reports of suspicious activity.
Two men were approached by gardaí from the Castleconnell Garda Station who were found to be in possession of two dogs but were not able to provide evidence of ownership.
The men also claimed the dogs were microchipped.
Both animals were found to be in a very nervous condition and were seized on animal welfare grounds.
Later examination by a local vet confirmed neither animal was microchipped. A later visit by one of the men claiming to have documentation that proved ownership of the dogs was also believed to be fraudulent.
Gardaí later reunited one of the springer spaniels with his owner after taking the dog to the local shelter.
Jake's owner, Gerard, said "I'm absolutely thrilled to get Jake back. I had lost hope cause 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 one of the suspected stolen dogs with its owner.
The public are asked to contact Henry Street Garda Station on 061-212400 with any information.
Although there has been a number of reported dog thefts recently, Gardaí do not believe there has been a significant increase.
Speaking about the recent reports, Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Ber Leetch said owners can take a number of precautionary steps.
Sergeant Leetch said: "As we are hearing a lot about dog theft, it can make dog owners feel unsafe and worried about their beloved pets - so we would advise you take extra precautions for their safety.
"For your dog’s security, I would recommend they are microchipped so that they can be easily identified if found and returned to the owner.
"Also place contact details on their collar in the event that they escape. Ensure that your home and garden are secure to prevent theft and deter potential culprits.
"If you have a high-value breed of animal you may wish to consider CCTV and other crime prevention measures.
"If you are buying a dog, or returning a dog to its suspected owners, make sure the person is bona fide” she added.