A terrified two-year-old Maltese pooch was found hidden inside a bag and buried deep in undergrowth after being snatched by dognappers.
The pup was discovered by a father and son out walking their dog who heard whimpers on a country lane.
They found Mabel shaking in terror when they unzipped an old parasol bag which had been tied up.
Mabel's family from Lincolnshire feel like they've 'won the lottery' after their beloved pet was returned.
Dog charities are warning the public to keep an eye out when walking as stolen dogs are being dumped, writes The Mirror.
Mabel was taken from her back garden near Boston on Tuesday, April 27.
Her family searched day and night and campaigned on social media for her safe return, and on Friday were in floods of tears when they were reunited.
Mabel had been dumped ten minutes away from their home, but the dognappers had placed sticks ontop of the bag to ensure she didn't get out.
She was rushed to the vets and she was given the all-clear.
Now she is home and recovering from the horrific ordeal.
Her owner, Nicola, 51, and Russell Pinner, 55, a builder, said: “We feel like we've won the lottery, we just can't believe it."
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Nicola added: “Dog theft is becoming a nightmare for people.
“People don't realise how easy it is, you need to watch their dogs when they're in the garden. I never thought this would happen to us."
Nicola said the family weren't sure if she had been stolen at first as they feared she had escaped the garden.
On Friday morning, a woman rang her to say her husband and son had found the two-year-old pooch.
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The family raced down to where she was found and when Russell cuddled her she licked his face.
Nicola added: “The lady who found her was crying, I was crying, everyone was crying."
After returning 'home sweet home', Mabel has been asleep but is traumatised by what happened.
Nicola said the "scum" who took and bagged Mabel probably dumped her because she became "too hot to handle".
Police are investigating the inident.
Melody Cheal, from Dogs Stolen with Violence, warned on Facebook : “When out walking your own dogs be on the look out for abandoned dogs trapped in bags or tied up under bushes.
"There have been several dogs found recently, abandoned in such a way but they may have died if not found.
"Some dogs will not make a noise if trapped like this particularly if they have been abused.
"So when on your walks please keep checking every day. You may save a dog's life."
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