A family have been reunited with their beloved dog 12 hours after it was stolen from under their noses.
Charlee, a British bulldog, was taken from a carpark in Masterton last night while her family visited a restaurant on the way home from an Easter holiday.
A spokesperson for the family, who did not want to be named, told Stuff they returned to their vehicle to find Charlee's cage had been taken off their trailer and broken open.
"We couldn't believe it. We let the police know then had to go. It was terrible driving home without her and we were so worried," the spokesperson said.
However friends of the family were able to demonstrate the power of social media by quickly sharing a post of the missing dog.
Twelve hours later, five-month-old Charlee was retrieved when thieves tried to sell her to a person who had seen she was missing.
"Some people turned up at a house and tried to sell Charlee to them. The person they tried to sell it to had seen the post on Facebook and told them to give them the dog and go home," the owner said.
The family spokesperson said they were relieved to have known plenty of people in Masterton.
"It's funny the only other dog I have owned was also British bulldog, called Boston. He's dead now but years ago he was stolen and missing for eight months, before a family in Rotorua recognised him on a flyer we put out nationwide."
"We got him back and now we've gotten Charlee back as well. We're really happy it's worked out."