Lamppost lead sniffs out collie

John McLaren is delighted to have been with Tan the dog

John McLaren is delighted to have been with Tan the dog

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A COLLIE dog that was pinched along with a dairy delivery van and its cargo of milk has been reunited with his devastated owner after being spotted tied to a lamppost in Wishaw.

John McLaren, 70, had popped into a shop in Main Street, Longridge, on Wednesday to deliver a few pints when his white van was driven off – with his faithful pet, Tan, on the passenger seat.

He had left the vehicle unlocked and the keys in the ignition.

Hundreds of people from the local community scoured the surrounding area for Tan, but she was eventually found a day and a half later wandering around the village of Waterloo, on the outskirts of Wishaw.

Mr McLaren, who adopted his collie from a rescue home after his first collie passed away, said he was delighted to get his pet back, even though his van was still missing.

He said: “I was devastated, but I’ve got her back now so I’m feeling good. Yesterday morning I was terrified that somebody had my dog and was doing terrible things to her, but she was grand.

“When she saw me again she went off her nut.

“I was told she was spotted tied to a lamppost at the Asda in Newmains, after we put her picture up on Facebook, but by the time we got there she was gone. The next day she was spotted wandering three miles up the road.

“Everybody was out looking for her, hundreds of people were on the search. My daughter-in-law had posted all the details up on Facebook and it got a lot of support.

“When we got her back she was a happy dog, but she wasn’t too hungry because we feed her well. We want to thank the woman called Kat who found her.”

Mr McLaren’s son, Bryce, added: “We had a Border collie called Guinness before, but she had to get put down because she had a twisted intestine.

“My dad was sad so we got Tan one-and-a-half years ago.

“He went back to his van on the morning and she was gone, so it was a huge shock and he was very upset. They’re glad to be reunited.”

Lothian and Borders Police are continuing to search for the van and its load of milk.

A spokesman said: “The driver left the white transit van unlocked with the keys in the ignition while he delivered milk to a nearby store and when he returned at 9.30am he discovered it had been stolen.

“We would also ask anyone who was on Main Street yesterday morning and saw anything suspicious to contact police immediately.”

Anyone with any information can contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131-311 3131.