Stroud family ‘heartbroken’ after litter of five-week-old puppies stolen

The puppies were stolen by thieves. Credit: Gloucestershire Live

A family say they have been left “heartbroken” after their litter of five-week-old puppies were stolen by thieves.

The six sprocker spaniels were taken from a secure kennel at a family home in Stroud on 22 September.

Owners Abbie and Nick Sole say the theft has left them and their three-year-old daughter “heartbroken”.

The family fear the coronavirus pandemic has led to a rise in dog thefts, and have appealed for people to keep an eye out for their puppies.

“Our three-year-old daughter is devastated," Nick added.

"She is just about old enough to understand and it has broken her heart because she loved playing with the puppies. 

“What child wouldn’t? It’s what she looked forward to every morning.”

The owners say their three-year-old daughter has been left 'heartbroken' by the theft. Credit: Gloucestershire Live

Gloucestershire Police have since issued a warning to other dog owners in the county to keep a close eye on their pets.

Officers said the suspects broke a window in order to gain access to the dogs, while a grey Mercedes Sprinter van was seen driving suspiciously in the area shortly before the theft took place.

There are a number of ways that you can help protect your dogs:

  • Keep an ID tag on your dog at all times (your surname, mobile number and address only).

  • Secure gates using bolts at the top and bottom, along with a heavy-duty padlock and gate alarm.

  • Never leave your pet in the garden unattended.

  • Purchase a driveway alarm so you are alerted to any intruders, these can also be used in rear gardens and yards.

  • Make sure your dog is micro chipped and their details are updated so that they can be returned if they are stolen and subsequently found.

  • Avoid leaving a dog tied up outside a shop or left alone in a car, even for a few minutes

  • Take lots of photographs of your dog to prove ownership if it’s stolen, pay particular attention to any distinguishing markings on your dog.

  • You can also prevent theft on walks by varying walk times and locations and being suspicious of strangers who ask questions about your dog.

  • Make a note of any suspicious, loitering vehicles.

Anyone with information about the latest theft in Stroud should quote incident 261 of 23 September.