A BELOVED family pet who has been missing for five months has been reunited with his owners after he was rescued by police and a charity.

Martin Kelly, 70, was left heartbroken when his English Bull Terrier Monty went missing on Thursday (March 13) while out for a walk in The Birkbeck, off Whitehall Lane in Buckhurst Hill.

Mr Kelly, of Brook Road, Buckhurst Hill had a special bond with the dog who he believed detected his cancer.

The family spent months searching for their pet. But, in recent week charity Dog Lost was contacted by someone who gave them a tip-off about Monty’s location.

A home in an undisclosed location was visited by police who found Monty the dog.

“Little Monty was taken pretty badly, the vet said he had likely been kept chained up for the whole five months,” Shelagh Blanche Savage from Dog Lost said.

“He was so excited to see Martin he just wanted to play with his ball and he was running around, he exhausted himself. Martin had to take him to the vet.

“He had ticks and was slightly underweight.”

Monty was called a ‘life-saving’ dog by his owners after he began licking Martin’s neck in the same spot after they took him home.

When Martin had his neck looked it was discovered he had cancer.

Monty then helped him through the radiation treatment.

Distinctively small Monty was the first dog retrieved through a new joint partnership with Dog Lost and Essex Police.

East London, area volunteer for Dog Lost promised Martin Kelly months ago she would get Monty home.

She said: “I promised Martin if it was the last thing I did I would get Monty home.

“It was the best feeling in the world seeing them reunited, better than winning the lotto.”