A CHARITY has revealed how it has helped secure the return of two dogs to their owners after alleged dog-nappings in the last month in Southend.

Speaking out in support of Southend West MP Anna Firth’s Pet Abduction Bill, the founders of Tilly’s Angels have claimed that dog thefts are on the rise and revealed twice in the last month they have been contacted by desperate families.

According to the group, their social media appeal and searches for two stolen dogs made them “too hot to handle” and the animals where eventually reunited with their owners.

Tilly’s Angels, set up by Anne Cushion after her dogs were stolen in 2021, claims the alleged thieves called the charity to arrange to return the dogs in exchange for not being reported to police.

Now, Ms Cushion is backing Ms Firth’s Bill, which she believes will have a huge impact alongside a new law coming into place this June which means all dogs must be chipped.

She said: “We’ve had two dog thefts recently in Southend and fortunately, thanks to a coalition of owners and Tilly’s and other concerned groups, it resulted in the dogs being reunited with their owners.

“We plastered all the details over Facebook and raised the profile of the dogs.

“It is an ongoing issue for us and often with these thefts, if the taking of the dog is made public, the thieves realise that they need to do something quickly.

“Hopefully, with the bill and recent changes that mean pets must be chipped by June, the police will be more likely to follow up on these cases.

“Anything I can do to support the fast process of this bill through parliament, I will do and from personal experience I appreciate the trauma pet theft causes to families.”

Ms Cushion had four of her dogs stolen in 2022, though all were safely recovered from the thieves.

“The trauma on the owners means that when they get their pet back, all they really want to do is come to terms with what happened and not relive it,” she said.

“I found that sitting in the gallery of the Houses of Parliament and watching the Bill pass through these stages was very emotional.

“All I can do is thank the national movement who have also campaigned to get this through for years, I am a relative newcomer to this debate.”