A HEARTBROKEN family is refusing to give up hope of seeing their beloved rescue dog again after he was stolen.

Clare Palmer from Southend says her dachshund, Louie, escaped on the A127 and was chased by a man who snatched him in front of passersby.

She’s been scouring the streets and knocking on doors since he was taken from them.

The mum, 38, said: “Louie was stolen from the A127 between Rochester Drive and Queen Anne’s Drive Southend on November 12 at 10.20am

“Prior to this, Louie had seized the opportunity to go exploring after the front door hadn’t been closed properly.

“Leaving Lavender Mews, he soon found his way into Coleman Avenue, and at the junction of Colemans Avenue and the A127 a white transit van was witnessed to have stopped and a man got out of the passenger side of the van.

“Louie then was seen being chased by this man along the verge of the A127 London-bound.

“A man in biker clothing standing near the corner of Rochester Drive saw Louie heading towards him and tried to catch Louie but he swerved him and ran onto the A127.

“Another man passing at the time witnessed this, he stopped his vehicle and managed to capture Louie, unwittingly handing him over to the man who was chasing him believing that he was his dog.

“We have been unable to find the man in biker clothing unfortunately, as he is a valuable witness, as is a lady walking past pushing a pushchair. We would be very grateful for them to come forward.”

The family describe the sweet little dog as a scared dachshund who had a terrible start in life.

They recall how he was treated badly before they rescued him.

The mother added: “He is only now showing us what a little character he is, he follows my 12-year-old daughter everywhere.

“He sleeps with her, he will sit outside the bathroom waiting for her.

“When she is out he sits in the corner of her room and will not really come out until she is home.”

She said the theft of Louie has been devastating on the family,

Louie wasn’t wearing a collar but has been chipped.

The family is offering a substantial reward for his safe return.

Call police on 101 with reference 42/186964/20.