A DOG that went missing from Dorset five years ago has been reunited with its owner – after being found more than 500 miles away in Scotland.

On Sunday Sharon Collins was reunited with her Staffordshire bull terrier Ellie who was snatched outside a shop in Bere Regis in January 2009.

“She was tied up outside the shop and someone had unclipped the lead,” Miss Collins explained.

“I was in there for about two minutes and when I got out she was gone. It was like losing a child.”

Miss Collins searched high and low for Ellie and worked with the charity Dog Lost to try to track her down but over the years there had not been any sightings.

“You never lose hope completely,” the 36-year-old said.

“But I just wanted to know that she was okay and being looked after.”

On Friday Miss Collins, who works at the Drax Arms pub, received a long-awaited call saying Ellie, who is micro-chipped, was enjoying a stay at Langdyke Boarding Kennels in Fife, West Scotland.

“They had scanned her and my details came up,” she said.

“She had come from the pound and had been taken to the kennels. I just couldn’t believe it.”

Staff at the kennels instantly began making preparations to bring Ellie home and the dog was reunited with her rightful owner on Sunday.

Miss Collins said: “A lot of people made donations to get her down here.

“A woman from the kennels drove her from Scotland to Peter-borough and another woman drove her from Peterborough to Dorset.

“When I saw her I was very tearful. I was just so happy to have her back.”

“I’d like to say a special thanks to the kennels and to all the people involved in getting her home safely,” she added.

Ellie, who is now 10 years old, is in good health and settling back into Dorset life with her new four-legged friend Tilly, Miss Collins three-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier.

It’s not known where Ellie was kept during the five years she was missing.

It’s thought she had several litters of puppies during this time.

Urging all dog owners to get their pets micro-chipped, Miss Collins said: “It’s 100 per cent worth it.

“If I didn’t have her chipped I would never have got her back.”