A former alcoholic has been reunited with the dog he credits with helping his recovery after it was stolen.

Chris Luby, 52, of Audley Court in South Woodford, made an impassioned plea for the safe return of his beloved Zeus after he was taken from his garden just before Christmas.

The dog was then traced to a lock-up in Romford Road following a tip-off earlier this month.

Mr Luby said: "I am overjoyed to have Zeus back, but being away from me has had its effect on him.

"He is now so clingy and doesn’t want to leave my side."

"He was found with no food and water and the place stank."

Mr Luby, who was an alcoholic for 30 years but has been dry for two years, bought Zeus eight months ago.

He says his pet has helped him stay off the booze by giving him focus and giving him a reason to get out of the house

But he said he has been left confused after the police told him the case is now closed and nothing will be done to trace those responsible for the theft.

He added: "As long as I have got my dog back the police don’t seem to care.

"I know they left another dog there in those conditions – why didn’t they take it away with them?

"I want them to investigate the theft properly and I want answers.

"I just felt like a nuisance to them and like it was too much hard work for them.

"They can say it is only an animal, but it was kidnap and Zeus is my world."

A spokesman for Redbridge Police said a complaint had been made but he could not comment further as the investigation was ongoing.