A family have tracked down the thief who keeps pinching all their socks - George, their super-cute Staffie pup.
George has munched his way through 15 pairs of socks belonging to Kathryn and Mark Danby and their two daughters Millie, 12, and Imogen, four.
The five-month-old needed an emergency trip to the vet after becoming ill when one of the socks became stuck in his abdomen.
Vet Gemma Taylor has now recommended his owners buy him a muzzle to curb his appetite for socks until the five-month-old pup grows out of the habit.
George constantly raids the washing machine, drawers and radiators in search of socks, and has also eaten the hands and feet off Imogen’s collection of Barbie dolls, swallowed stones from the garden and chewed furniture at the family's County Durham home.
Kathryn said: “We first noticed George’s sock obsession when he was just 12 weeks old. I went to clean up in the garden and noticed he had passed a sock.
“My husband found a pair of socks in his cage after George had been sick, and then I noticed he was poorly when I took him for a walk.
“He was really off-colour, so I took him into Prince Bishop Veterinary Hospital to get checked over. It was then that an X-ray revealed he had eaten a sock, some stones and a dog toy.
“It is thanks to the vets at Prince Bishop that he’s OK.”
Dr Taylor performed the operation to remove the sock from George, but it has done nothing to stop his appetite for socks.
“Hopefully this is something he will grow out of, as it is associated with teething,” said Dr Taylor.
“But we need to stop it becoming a habit and make sure he doesn’t think it is a game when people take the sock from him.
“He is just very bright and he is making his own entertainment, but unfortunately it is not a healthy habit.
“Kathryn is doing the right things like keeping him in a crate, giving him toys to keep his interest and considering a basket muzzle.
"Everything has to be kept out of harm’s way for puppies, although that’s difficult in a family home.”
Kathryn, of Delves Lane, Consett, added: “We are trying to minimise what he can steal. All socks have to be tucked away in drawers or on feet.
“I have to lock the washing machine door because he’s even pinching them from there.”
The Prince Bishop Veterinary Hospital in Leadgate, which treated George, is part of VetPartners – a collaboration of some of the UK’s most respected veterinary practices.