THE owner of a tiny dog which was in a car stolen from outside a vets is appealing for the chihuahua's safe return.

Black and tan Tia had been left in the £13,000 Nissan Juke while her owner dropped a parcel off at Cross Green Vets in Otley at about 1.30pm on Wednesday.

As 21-year-old Frances Bell came out of the vets she saw a man speed off in her car. Her iPhone, which had also been in the vehicle, was tracked towards Waitrose in the town before it was thrown out of the window and smashed.

Miss Bell's friend Carla Thackwray , who is helping her search for Tia, said they were sure it was the car, and not the £400 dog, the man was targeting.

"He probably wouldn't even have known Tia was in it. She usually sits in the back or goes under the seats. Fran is heartbroken and just wants her back - more than the car. She's had Tia since she was a pup and she's two now. She loves her to bits," she said.

"Fran's only had the car about three weeks and had left the spare keys and log book in the glovebox. We're not sure if the man had been following her and knew because of her job dropping off parcels was always getting in and out of the car. She could have been targeted.

"The police have said the car was seen on CCTV speeding along Canal Road in Bradford and there were sightings through Otley. Her phone was tracked to Waitrose but then it was chucked out of the window and smashed.

"We are trying to get hold of more CCTV fromOtley town centre and have been asking all local vets and the dog wardens in the area to keep an eye out for her.

"We desperately want Tia home."

Tia, who is microchipped, is now the subject of a social media appeal as Miss Bell and her friend hope users of Facebook and Twitter will help bring her home.

Anyone with information should call police on 101.