An 11-year-old girl with autism is "heartbroken" that her therapy dog has been stolen – days after a suspicious drone was spotted circling her house.
Chloe Hopkins, from Peatling Parva, Leicestershire, has cried every day since Lottie disappeared from a garden outhouse last weekend.
Her mother Gemma says she saw the dalmatian last Sunday morning but by 7:30am, the bolt on the outhouse was broken and Lottie was gone.
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She's now pleading for help to find the dog, who has kidney problems and is Chloe's "best friend".
"Chloe and Lottie are inseparable," Mrs Hopkins told the BBC. "She helps Chloe calm down – she's her best friend.
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"She helps Chloe get through every day because she's got her best friend to come home to."
The desperate mum says she saw a drone fly over her property a few days before the burglary – an unusual sight in her small village. She saw the drone hover over the side of her house which has a gate, which the thieves broke through in order to get to Lottie.
She's convinced the drone may be the key to finding Lottie, and is offering a £500 reward for her safe return. Lottie is microchipped with a 'stolen' alert on her record.
In an urgent plea for information, Mrs Hopkins said Chloe is "heartbroken" and is having trouble returning to school without breaking down in tears.
She said: "She doesn't understand, with her autism she thinks somebody hates her and that's why someone's taken her dog.
"I watch my daughter crumple and there's nothing I can do as a parent to stop her being in pain."
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