A couple now feel like Christmas has come along again when they found one half of their pair of stolen dogs.

Liz and Derek Butcher, of Brick House Road, Tolleshunt Major, are “over the moon” after they were told that their puppy Hardy was roaming alone around Promenade Park in Maldon this week.

Mr Butcher, 73, believes his five-year-old Lakeland terrier Toby and puppy, Hardy, a Lakeland terrier and Jack Russell crossbreed, were stolen from kennels in his garden in January.

Despite using Twitter to spread appeal posters of the two-curly haired dogs, the couple had not heard a sight or sound of their pets until last week.

Mr Butcher said that a Maldon District Council worker had spotted Hardy on Tuesday night but was unable to catch it.

See this week's Standard for the full story.