GRANDCHILDREN have been left heartbroken after their pet rabbit was killed and ferrets were stolen from their granddad’s allotment.
Dennis Young, 60, found the lion-head rabbit speared with a thin, metal pole and his seven ferrets gone.
The rabbit was a much-loved pet of his grandchildren Jodie, 15, Kennedy, 11, and Reece, nine, as it belonged to their late mum Lindsey Young, who died aged just 29 four years ago.
Police have now launched an investigation into the break-in at the Trimdon Grange allotment, which they have called a “despicable crime”.
Dennis, who lives in Northside Buildings, only about 200 yards from the allotments, told the Mail: “I’m absolutely devastated that this has happened. My grandchildren are distraught over the rabbit’s death. They are heartbroken.
“I’ve been breeding ferrets for 25 years and having them stolen in this way is dreadful, it is the last thing I need.”
Dennis rushed the rabbit to a vet in a bid to save it after finding it wounded on Monday morning, but it died on the operating table.
The thieves are suspected to have struck on the Sunday night on the secluded allotments behind Trimdon Grange Infant and Nursery School, in the North Side Terrace area of the village.
Hutches were also damaged and Dennis, said he is also missing several tools.
The retired construction worker, who is married to Geraldine, 56, added: “I have never had anything like this happen to me. I don’t understand why anyone would do this.
“I don’t know if it’s youngsters out of their heads on drink or drugs or what. It’s just senseless.”
Police are now asking for help to quickly catch those responsible.
PC Paul Elliott, of Durham Constabulary, said: “This despicable crime has caused Mr Young and his family a great deal of heartache and I would appeal to anyone with information about those responsible to contact us.”
PC Elliott, who is based in Newton Aycliffe, can be contacted on (0345) 6060365 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.