A SOUTH Yorkshire family have been left heartbroken after thieves stole their Dogue de Bordeaux puppies.
Brothers Ben Hutchinson, seven, and Daniel Mills, 15, were helping to care for the valuable litter of puppies in December and had been spending all their pocket money buying them gifts.
But three of the pups, worth around £2,000 each, were stolen from kennels at the family's home in Dunscroft, near Doncaster South Yorkshire on January 12th. Thieves also tried to steal another dog, Lulu, who was in the same kennel, but she escaped and was later found running around the garden.
Lisa Mills, 38, the boys' mother, said: "They are absolutely devastated. They don't know whether they are dead or alive. They were part of the family, we've had them since they were babies when we had to hand feed them. We've got no clues and the boys are constantly wondering if they're been treated well. We just want them back."
The family had bought the four pups to add to their collection of farmyard animals including sheep, chickens and a horse.
Ms Mills, 38, a veterinary nurse, who lives with partner Ian Hutchinson, said: "We're a family of animal lovers and the boys worshipped the new pups. Ben had named his Sherman and Daniel called his Sumo. The third was little Harvey."
She said the family had put up thousands of posters across the town and as far afield as Wakefield appealing for information.
The raiders struck some time between 5.30pm and 7.30pm, getting into the outbuilding by breaking down the metal door. The pups, which are fawn in colour, have all been microchipped.
Ms Mill's Ifor Williams horse trailer was also stolen from the house. It is made of aluminium, has two axles and has a special partition inside built to accommodate a small Shetland pony. It has blue sides and a silver coloured roof.
Mrs Mills told OUR DOGS that she was less than satisfied with the police’s response to the dogs’ theft. "I’ve discovered far more by going through DogsLost and by my own efforts than anything the police have turned up," she said. "They didn’t even want to give us a crime number at first, just an incident number, I had to really push to get the dogs’ theft registered as a crime, along with the trailer. I don’t care about the trailer, that’s insured, I’m concerned for the puppies. They need proper feeding and exercise and I doubt they’re getting that right now."
Through her own investigations, Mrs Mills discovered that the dogs had been offered for sale in a nearby village, but said that the police were reluctant to enter a travellers’ site where the dogs might have been held.
"A man telephoned me a couple of days after they were taken to offer to sell them back to me and let slip the name of the family involved," said Mrs Mills. "He called back later to say that the deal was off, because I knew their name now. Quite frankly, I’m not interested in what they may or may not be up to – I just want my dogs back, no questions asked, and I am offering a substantial cash reward for their return."
*If anyone has any information that will lead to the safe return of the three puppies, please contact Lisa Mills on: 01302-843209.