A TOP comedian offered a reward for the safe return of a friend’s dog that was stolen – and was happy to pay up when the dog was returned safe and well.
Star of ‘Extras’ and ‘The Office’ Ricky Gervais put up a substantial reward for the return of ‘Elsa’, a Staffordshire Bull terrier owned by his neighbour Lisa Murray. Elsa went missing in Russell Square, London in January. It is believed that she was stolen and later sold on.
Ms Murray had frantically been putting up posters in the area and the star, got in touch with Ms Murray and offered to raise the reward by £650 – from £350 to £1,000.
The publicity surrounding his donation helped news of the lost dog to spread and, by coincidence, a Portsmouth resident, who bought Elsa in north London, immediately got in touch and Elsa was swiftly reunited with Ms Murray.
Ms Murray said: 'I am ecstatic to have Elsa back. I was sent an e-mail saying they might have Elsa, but we couldn't be sure until her microchip was checked.
'Once that was confirmed I was over the moon. It's a real happy ending.
'I can't thank Ricky enough for his help in finding her. He promised to up the reward to £1,000. He said he kept seeing the poster and feeling sad.'
Missing dog campaign group Dog Theft Action, along with missing pet registries, the Kennel Club and the RSPCA urges pet owners to microchip their animals so they can quickly be reunited if found.
As reported previously an official report entitled ‘Dogs In Crime’ prepared by the Metropolitan police indicated that Staffordshire Bull terriers were the most popular dogs to be stolen by criminals.