An image of the six puppies stolen by machete-wielding masked thieves has been released, after the dogs were reunited with their mother following the ordeal.

The five-week old siblings were returned to their worried mother on Sunday, after being stolen in a violent burglary in north Manchester.

The Staffordshire cross puppies were snatched from a flat at around 9.30am on Saturday by two machete-wielding men.

Their mother, Zena, tried to defend her pups but she was hit on the head with a machete by one of the men, causing a deep cut.

However, just hours after police issued an urgent appeal, officers attended a property in Moston and recovered all six dogs.

Initially it was believed seven puppies were stolen, but it has since been established that it was six.

The puppies' mother, Zena, was injured with a machete whilst trying to defend her five-week-old puppies, but is over the moon at their return. Credit: GMP/PA

Police had warned the puppies would not survive very long without their mother.

The staff cross puppies, who are all safe and well, have now been reunited with their mother, Zena, who is over the moon at their return.

Detective Constable Nick Kershaw said: “This has been a fast paced investigation and I am pleased to be able to say that last night, we attended at an address in Moston and recovered all six puppies.

“The puppies are all safe and well, and have been reunited with their mother, Zena, who was absolutely delighted to see them.

“It has been a huge effort from the team to reunite the puppies with their mother before the worst happened, however our investigation is not finished there and we are keen to speak with anyone who can help us."

Zena was attacked by the raiders in Manchester. Credit: GMP/PA

The investigation into the burglary into a flat on Fernclough Road in Harpurhey remains ongoing and detectives are keen to speak to anyone with information that can assist.

A man was also attacked at the flat after he was followed inside, and suffered defensive wounds to his forearms and hands.

Cash, keys and a phone were taken in the burglary.

A 40-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary and remains in custody for questioning.

Anybody with information should contact police on 0161 856 3985, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.