Therapy dog found dead after being stolen from 12-year-old autistic girl

Therapy dog found dead after being stolen from 12-year-old autistic girl

A therapy dog who had been cruelly stolen from a young girl with autism has been found dead, Yahoo! News reports.

The three-year-old Dalmatian named Lottie was taken from 12-year-old Chloe Hopkins' home in Peatling Parva, Leicestershire, last December. The internet rallied around the family and a GoFundMe had even been set up to help them.

Set up by Catherine Lightbown, the fundraising campaign reads:

"A beautiful 12-year-old girl who has ASD and autism was given the gift of a support dog, a beautiful liver spot dalmatian named Lottie. 'But soon after, one day, whilst Lottie was at home, evil came to visit, taking Lottie with them and it did unbelievable damage to a beautiful 12-year-old girl.

Her mum, family, friends and strangers did everything in their power to find Lottie and today they got the news that they had been dreading - Lottie had been found, but sadly had passed away. Now, nothing can ever replace the love and support that Lottie brought to her, but it could go some way to mend her broken heart."

On Monday, Chloe’s mother, Gemma Hopkins, revealed the tragic news on Facebook:

“This is something I'd never thought I'd have to post. In fact, I'm not sure it has sunk in. Yesterday morning we got the call we didn’t want. Lottie has been found, but passed away. Having to identify her was the hardest thing I've done by miles and I cannot thank everyone enough for the shares of posters via social media. I've now got to break my 12-year-old’s heart tonight. We are all heartbroken."

PC Robin Bonell, an investigating officer in Leicestershire has confirmed the canine's death. The officer also revealed that the police force are continuing with their investigation into the burglary.

"I would still like to speak to anyone who may have information but has not yet contacted police," PC Bonell adds. "I'm particularly keen to speak to anyone who was driving along Peatling Road on Sunday morning.

"Did you notice anyone in a layby who was acting in a manner that seemed unusual or that caught your attention? Do you have a dashcam installed in your vehicle? 'Any details you're able to provide, no matter how insignificant you think they may be, could help with our investigation."