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'Devastated' dog owner appeals for return of young puppies

Craig Vaughan's beloved pet Dora with her puppies Credit: PA/Craig Vaughan

A dog owner has been left "devastated" after thieves broke into a kennel and stole his cocker spaniel Dora, along with her five puppies.

The two-year-old and her three-week-old pups were taken from Craig Vaughan's farm outside Yarm in Teesside on Tuesday, and he fears they may die without the correct care.

He had screwed the door of the kennel shut when he went out to milk his cows, but the thieves unfastened it to steal the dogs, which have been raised outside with warmth from heat lamps.

Mr Vaughan had sold four of the puppies, which can fetch up to £750 each, but said he was not bothered about the money.

He was planning on giving the remaining puppy to his son for Christmas.

Mr Vaughan said he feared for the dogs' welfare, as the puppies had only just begun to be weaned.

"My biggest worry is that these people cannot sell them and they will throw them in a ditch," he said.

The tails of the puppies have been legally docked by a vet - Mr Vaughan has the correct paperwork to prove it which the thieves do not, so he has asked people buying a cocker spaniel puppy to be alert.

He appealed to the people who stole the dogs, saying: "I just want my dog and puppies back, leave them in a safe place and I will come and pick them up."