A team of dog lovers will sweep through a market tomorrow in search of clues on the disappearance of a 10-inch tall puppy.

Minnie, a three-month-old Chihuahua and Jack Russell crossbreed, went missing from her owners’ stall at North Weald Market on Easter Monday.

Danny Rider, 39, who runs a dog accessory stall at the market and bought Minnie for his 14-year-old son Jack, said: “She was gone in less than a minute.

“She’d done a tiddle on the dog bed and Jack lifted her off.

“From the time it took me to carry a box to the van and walk back to the stall, the dog was gone.

“She was not the sort of dog that would run off – she’s tiny. As soon as you put her on the floor, she wants you to pick her up again.

He fears a thief was watching the stall, where Minnie receives a lot of attention from visitors to the market.

He added: “A lot of people came up and stroked her and everyone who visited the stall wanted to say hello.”

The family, which has run the stall for 10 years, lives a four-hour drive away in north Wales and travels to the market for weekends and bank holidays.

Pet detective Denise Sykes, a volunteer for the group Dogs Lost, has been helping with the search and is organising publicity at tomorrow’s market.

She said: “We’ve spoken to the market manager and he’s helping us get leaflets everywhere.

“We think the dog is being held in the area, but we’re coming up with a blank.”

Anyone with information on the location of Minnie, who is white, has a full tail and is micro-chipped, should call 07447 482915. A reward is being offered for her safe return.