A FAMILY has been left devastated after their beloved dogs were stolen from their allotment.
Three four-week-old Cocker Spaniel puppies and their mum, along with a pet lurcher, were taken from a brick building on a plot at the Sunderland Road allotments, in Horden.
The theft has left the dogs’ owners and their children heartbroken.
James Dixon, 43, visited his allotment on Monday afternoon to find his pet pooches had gone missing.
Peterlee Police are investigating the burglary and are appealing for information.
James, who is married to Marie, 34, said: “We’re devastated.
“Whoever it was just smashed the door and broke the window to get in and get the dogs.
“The pups are with their mum but they were just getting weaned off and moving on to solids.”
The couple, from Morpeth Street in Horden, said the burglary had particularly affected their children, four-year-old Beau and Harvey, eight, who attend the village’s Yohden Primary School, and 11-year-old Jade, who is about to start at Dene Community School in Peterlee next week.
Marie, who runs Dixon’s Private Estate, said: “The kids are heartbroken.
“The dogs were like part of the family and they were with them every day.”
Two of the young Spaniels are a sandy, golden colour, and the other is white with hints of ginger.
Their mother Pepper, which the family had for three years, is a dark, gingery red and the lurcher, which had been with the Dixons for five weeks, was called Sandy because of her sandy colour.
Sergeant Steve Hawkes, of Peterlee Police, said: “We are investigating a burglary in which three Cocker Spaniel pups and their mother and a lurcher were stolen.
“The victims are devastated about the loss. We are investigating the matter and hope to reunite the dogs with their owner.”
Anyone with information about the burglary, which took place between 4pm on Sunday and 6.30pm on Monday, is urged to contact Peterlee Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.