A pensioner who was attacked and had his beloved dog stolen by callous thieves is "suffering from PTSD", his daughter has said.
Retired Mike Jasper is offering a £5,000 reward for the return of his Sprocker Spaniel Ted after he was brutally beaten by two men wearing face masks.
One of the dognappers approached Mr Jasper as he was walking on Cannon Hill Common, south London, and started asking questions.
As he bent down to put Ted on his lead, a second man came up behind him, punched him in the back and pushed him to the floor before grabbing Ted and running off laughing.
Former cop Mr Jasper said: "He is everything to me and my family and the house is so quiet and lonely without him.
"I've really struggled with my mental health over the last few years and Ted was a big part of my recovery, without him I don't know how to go on. It just feels like I'm living in a nightmare with no end in sight."
Mr Jasper's daughter Lucinda says her dad is in a "dark place" and "suffering from PTSD" since the theft.
It was the first time Mr Jasper had been walking in the park in the past six weeks.
The last time, he thought he heard someone snapping pictures of Ted on their phone. A fellow dog walker also claims to have spotted the two men on the common before the incident.
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The dog snatchers have been described as two white males in their late 20s, between 5"10 and 5"11, one with a London accent wearing camo trousers and a black hoodie, the other, a black Puffa Jacket and a baseball cap.
Mr Jasper said: "I never thought anything like this would happen to me.
"I've always been able to take care of myself and I never believed someone would be able to do this. I just keep thinking 'no this can't have happened. Ted can't be gone.
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"Ted is the happiest most loving dog and having spent my life owning dogs I've never known one like him.
"His tail never stops wagging and he would follow me absolutely everywhere, I feel like I have lost a family member and a best friend."
UK dog theft has surged 250% since the beginning of last year.
The rise is being blamed on the increasing demand for cuddly canine companions during the coronavirus pandemic.
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: "Police were called on Thursday, 15 December 2020 at 10:00hrs, to a reported robbery on Cannon Hill Lane.
"Upon police arrival, officers found a victim who reported that his dog had been stolen.
"The victim had been approached by a male who was asking questions about his dog and was then pushed from behind by a second suspect and his dog, a white, light brown Spaniel, with darker brown ears, was stolen."
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