Residents of a County Durham care home have been left devastated after therapy rabbits were stolen.
Three of the animals were taken from hutches at Murton Grange Care Home in Seaham on Tuesday (20 September).
The animals are used as therapy for adults with learning disabilities and autism at the home.
The rabbits included one grey male, one black female and one brown female, which were taken along with a wooden double hutch and a light brown wooden rabbit run.
Karen Willgress, the deputy manager at Murton Grange Care Home said staff and residents had been really upset by the theft.
She said the rabbits were used as a therapy for people's anxieties, and when people were distressed or upset.
"As you can imagine we're really devastated by the loss," she said.
"Taking away from people who've got a learning disability and autism, it's just deeply saddened us and really upset a lot of the staff and the people we support."
Staff at the care home added that police had launched an investigation.
A spokesperson for Durham Police said: "Police are investigating the theft of three rabbits and two wooden hutches which were stolen from outside a care home in Knaresborough Road, in Murton.
"Intruders are believed to have entered the grounds of the property at some point between 8pm on Tuesday 20 September and 8am on Wednesday 21 September and removed the animals.
"The rabbits included one grey male, one black female and one brown female, which were taken along with a wooden double hutch and a light brown wooden rabbit run.
"Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call Durham Constabulary on 101, quoting incident 165 of 21 September."
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