THREE puppies– including one that is just a month old and needs to be with its mother– have been stolen during a burglary.

The dogs were taken from a house in Front Street, Frosterley, Weardale, between 2.30am and 7am on Saturday.

The suspects smashed a window to get into the property, before making off with a four-week-old brindle Pomeranian/French bulldog cross and two French bulldogs – one black and one brown – aged between six-months-old and a year.

Detective Constable Graeme Hopkirk, from Bishop Auckland CID, said: “We are very concerned for the welfare of these puppies, in particular the four-week-old crossbreed as it is far too young to be separated from its mother.

“We are appealing for anyone who may have been offered any puppies like this for sale, or who knows of anyone who has recently acquired similar puppies, to contact us as soon as possible.

“We believe this to be a targeted incident and would like to reassure local residents that we do not believe there to be a threat to the wider community.”

Gemma Luke, a friend of the owners, said: "They are family pets and the owner is absolutely devastated.

"They were away and had a dog-sitter in to look after them, who had only been out a short time when they were snatched.

"We're all desperate to get them back and are especially worried about the little one– it is tiny and needs to be with its mother."

  • Anyone with information is asked to call Durham police on 101, quoting incident number 118 of November 3. Alternatively information can be passed on to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555111 or to the RSPCA.