Dog stolen from North Yorkshire farm reunited with its owners - but circumstances of disappearance remain a mystery

Cocker spaniel Archie has been reunited with his owners after being stolen from a farm in North Yorkshire.

The seven-year-old dog was taken from his kennels during a burglary at the property in Barden, near Leyburn on April 8 - with a signpost being used to break down the outbuilding's door.

The dog belongs to Kevin and Emma Birch and their teenage daughter Molly, who has cerebral palsy.

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North Yorkshire Police have confirmed that Archie has now been found and returned home - but no arrests have been made so far.

Archie the cocker spaniel

It has not been disclosed where Archie was located.

North Yorkshire Police said: "Officers have thanked everyone, including the media, who shared their appeal to help reunite Archie with his family. Your support makes all the difference with our appeals.

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"In the meantime, the force’s investigation is still ongoing to establish the full circumstances surrounding the burglary and we are not able to share any further details at this stage.

"If you have any information that can help their investigation, please email [email protected] or call 101."

The Birch family consulted a Facebook volunteer group called the Lost Dog Trapping Team to help find Archie - though it is not clear who located him.

They said: "To all of Archie's group and the Lost Dog Trapping Team. As a family we want to say a huge heartfelt thank you to each and everyone of you, family, friends, and those of you we have never met for joining and sharing Archie’s campaign over the last week and especially to the Lost Dog Trapping Team who have worked with us tirelessly round the clock monitoring Archie’s page, answering messages, making posters and following up information.

"What you have achieved on our behalf is truly staggering and we are fully aware that were it not for your support and kindness Archie would not be here tonight sat on Molly's knee enjoying cuddles.

"Molly would like to say: 'I have never been so happy it is like a missing piece of my puzzle has been put back in place, making our house a happy place again thank you everyone for helping get Archie back home you have done amazing'.

"The joy you have brought to the family this Easter is the best Easter present we could have ever wished for."

Mandy Butler from the Lost Dogs Trapping Team posted: "Sadly due to an ongoing criminal investigation by police we cannot disclose any information at this stage. We do not want to risk jeopardising any possible prosecution and have been asked to withhold any information .

"What we will say is that as soon as we can we will definitely share the full story leading to the reunite of Archie and Molly. We are not going to archive or close Archie's page down till we can give the public answers .

"So many times we see stolen dogs reunited and no information is given and groups are archived. In our opinion the public who worked so hard to share this campaign deserve to know everything and as soon as we are able to we will disclose it. Please understand this may take some time but we won't forget the public sharers who made this possible.

"All we will say right now is that it only takes one share to target the right area and person that could bring your stolen dog home. For all those other stolen dogs still out there please keep sharing and maybe your share could bring the result we got for Molly and Archie."