The corgi stolen from the home of a 95-year-woman in a targeted theft has been returned unharmed.
The Mirror told how heartless thieves crept into the house of Barbara Parker-Millighan last month in Yateley, Hampshire to capture Amber after she was spotted by cold callers.
Now after an investigation led Colin Butcher, owner of the UK Pet Detective Agency, the two-year-old dog has been reunited with her owners after a frantic search.
Douglas Embelton, 65, who lives with mum Barbara, said: “We are so relieved to get Amber back. I really don’t think mum would have survived if she hadn’t been returned.
“She hasn’t left our side since she got home.”
Amber was stolen on February 26 when Douglas was picking up a prescription and shopping. Nothing else was taken from the property but Barbara sat in the conservatory.
Douglas turned to Colin Butcher for help 24 hours later after he felt the police were not taking the crime seriously.
“If it wasn’t for Colin, we wouldn’t have Amber back,” he said.
He warned dog owners to be on guard for cold callers and to tighten up security at home to protect pets from thieves.
He added: “The thieves had previously been touting for business trying to get us to get our front wall fixed but I had turned them away many times.
It is understood Amber, a red corgi and the same breed as the Queen’s dogs, has been snatched for breeding.
“Now I know there is a link between dog thefts and cold callers, I urge other owners to be wary of people coming to the door.”
A breakthrough in the case came after Colin discovered a couple who had been walking their dog in the park on the afternoon of the theft.
Unbeknown to them while videoing their pet, they had captured the vehicle linked to the burglary in the background which led Colin to one of the suspects.
Colin, 58, a former detective for the Met and Surrey police forces, thanked the Mirror and said his hunt for Amber had been aided by information from the dog community who he said are “getting sick of the rise in thefts.”
He is already working on his next case looking for two English Springer Spaniels who were stolen from Partridge Green, West Sussex, last Thursday.
A 19-year-old man was detained by Sussex Police on Tuesday afternoon in connection with the case.
Pensioner Archie Rawlings was walking his four dogs in Savernake Forest near Marlborough, Wiltshire last week when two men tried to coax then animals off him.
The pair fled empty handed after Archie lashed out in defence.
He said: “Maybe they thought an old guy with a trilby hat and a walking stick would be easy meat.
“In my opinion these people are the scum of the earth.
“What they do to people and people’s life is terrible.
“I meet elderly people, ladies on their own, if it had been one of them heaven knows what would have happened.”