A woman who whose dog was stolen after she was bundled to the ground in an attack in the early hours of Valentine’s Day says she is “absolutely elated” after police found and returned her beloved pet.
Officers from Hammersmith and Fulham handed back Leon the German spitz to Lyndsay Andersson on Monday (February 20) evening, nearly one week after he had been violently taken from the 58-year-old.
Miss Andersson, who lives with multiple sclerosis and has a number of other physical problems including cerebral ataxia, osteoporosis and Chrohn’s disease, relies on the assistance dog to lead an independent life.
The retired barrister had walked across Shepherd’s Bush Green to go to a newsagents in Uxbridge Road at around 3.20am when she was pushed to the floor and had the dog stolen from her.
Speaking after the dog’s return she said: “I’m absolutely elated. I’ve got my baby boy back.
“I didn’t think I would see him again. He’s neutered so I thought they would just throw him away, or really really hurt him.”
She had earlier told getwestlondon that the stress of Leon’s abduction had left her unable to eat or sleep, and physically sick.
Recalling the moment she was reunited with the animal, Miss Andersson said: “I had popped outside because I needed some fresh air.
"Suddenly a police van turned up and someone shouted ‘Is this who you’ve been looking for?’
“Leon came running out and jumped on me. It was just incredible.”
However, she says both she and Leon have been scarred by the trauma of the past week.
“I’m taking him to the vets. He looks okay but but you can tell there’s a difference in him, he’s been upset and stressed out.
“And it will take me a couple of months to get over the trauma too.”
Speaking to getwestlondon while Leon was missing, Miss Andersson had said: “The past few days have been tough. I feel terrible. I’m not eating or sleeping, I’ve been sick.
“He’s not just a dog, he’s my best friend. He’s everything to me.”
The pet has lived with Miss Andersson since he was a six-month-old puppy, helping Miss Andersson about the house.
She said: “I really rely on my dog. If I drop anything he picks it up for me because I can’t get down. He helps me around the house because I’m partially sighted.”
The Dog Lost appeal site had helped coordinate the appeal for Leon.
A man charged with theft of a dog will appear at Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court in March.
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