A chef whose dog was stolen in a violent burglary has been reunited with her puppy after it was found 50 miles away in a drug raid.
Maria Fodor, 40, of Church Road in Leyton, was slapped round the face and hit with the handle of an axe by masked men who broke into her home after posing as police at 12.30am on January 17.
She could then only watch as the burglars stole her five-month-old American bulldog puppy, MJ, along with mobile phones and a laptop.
But the Covent Garden cook has been reunited with her £2,000 pet after Hampshire police found him during a drugs raid on Sunday.
She said: “I’m very happy. It was the best day of my life because we thought he had gone forever.
“What happened was very terrible. I was so scared. I was so upset and thought I would not see him again.”
Police found MJ suffering from an eye infection in the Basingstoke drugs bust.
They contacted wardens from organisation DogLost, who checked the puppy’s microchip and discovered he had been reported as stolen.
Miss Fodor, who is now living with her sister as she is too scared to move home, said police then called her and she travelled to Basingstoke to collect her beloved pet on Monday.
Now the chef is using her skills to feed MJ up, who has got a little slim in the three weeks he was missing.
She said: “Today is chicken and rice so he’s quite spoiled, but he needs to put on a little weight.”
PC Paul Scott of Hampshire Police said: "We are very pleased that we have been able to recover this much-loved family pet and reunite it with its owners.
"This incident highlights the importance of micro-chipping your pets as in this case it has enabled us to identify where the puppy was from and return it to its rightful owners."
Waltham Forest police are appealing for anyone who has any information about the burglary to contact Detective Constable Jack from Waltham Forest Burglary and Robbery Team on 020 8721 504.
To remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.