A WOMAN has paid tribute to the police and the local community after her stolen dog was returned safe and well.

Pam Stephenson feared the worst when her car, which contained her beloved Border Terrier Annie, was stolen from outside an address in Haydon Bridge on Friday.

Thankfully, 11-year-old Annie was located unhurt in Catton, after the thieves ditched the dog and her cage in the village.

Annie was soon reunited with her owner, after the rescuers tracked Pam down thanks to her brother Thomas’s post on Facebook.

The post was shared more than 1,100 times.

Pam said: “It wasn’t the police who found Annie. It was two ladies who saw her by the roadside in her cage in Catton.

“It was the kindness of passers-by how I got her back. The way they tracked me down was what Tom put on Facebook, so Facebook really came through on that.

“I had two hours of hell, because I thought my world had come to an end when Annie was gone. I didn’t care about the car. It was my dog – she’s part of me.

“When I got her back I couldn’t believe it. Thanks to the kindness of local people who tracked me down I got her back. I’m so grateful.

“The police have been brilliant from the first call I made. I can’t fault them.”

Locals also managed to find Pam’s phone, which was anonymously dropped off at Haydon Bridge Library, while other personal belongings were picked up near Allenheads by tourists from North Yorkshire.

Meanwhile, officers managed locate her car in County Durham, although it has yet to be returned to its owner.

A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said: “At about 3.50pm on Friday, January 18, police received a report of a theft of vehicle in Haydon Bridge.

“The incident took place at a premises in Haydon Bridge after a black Volkswagen Touareg estate was stolen.

“The owner’s dog was also in the vehicle when it was stolen, but has since been recovered.”

Pamela added: “It’s been a learning curve – we don’t live in a place round here where there’s no crime. It would be nice if they catch someone.

“The kindness and honesty of perfect strangers astounds me.

“I find it amazing out of something bad there comes something good.”