UK

7 Stolen Puppies Safely Returned After Being Snatched From Their Mother

30/10/2014 16:13 GMT | Updated 30/10/2014 16:59 GMT

Seven puppies who were cruelly stolen from their mother back in May have been safely returned.

The pups, all a cross between the poodle and Bichon Frise breeds, were taken after a man forced his way into a property in Doncaster.

The theft caused their owners to suffer “unnecessary distress and heartache”, South Yorkshire police said.

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The seven puppies are all safe and well back with their owners (pictured here with Sgt Stuart Rowse (right) and Det Insp Paul Dickinson

Three people have admitted their roles in taking the four girls and three boys - all a cross between the poodle and Bichon Frise breeds - in the Doncaster area.

Police say Richard Thomas forced his way into to a property on Cusworth Lane just before 11am on May 28 and took the animals from a pen they were in with their mother.

After cute pictures of the animals were publicised, Thomas was arrested along with two women and the puppies were recovered.

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The pups are poodle Bichon Frise crosses

Thomas, 27, of Ennerdale Road, Wheatley Hills, Doncaster; Kerry Scase, 29, of Beech Street, South Elmsall and Tonya Newton, 25, of Almhome Lane, Arksey, all appeared at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday, officers said.

Thomas admitted burglary and Scase and Newton pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods.They were bailed and will be sentenced at the same court on November 25.

Detective Constable Andy Hotchkiss said: "All seven of the puppies recovered well from their ordeal, as there were concerns at the time for their wellbeing as they were too young to be away from their mother.

"The owners of the puppies suffered unnecessary distress and heartache when they were stolen. I am pleased all three have pleaded guilty and have taken responsibility for their actions."

Owner Franchesca Knapton appealed for help to find the pups in May, after they were stolen.

She told the Sheffield Star at the time: "Their mum Meg just keeps crying. We are desperate for them back."

She said the pups are a mixture of three black girls, one black boy, one brown girl and two caramel coloured boys.