French Bulldog puppies snatched from family home in Bamber Bridge
A litter of two-week old French Bulldog puppies have been snatched from a home in Bamber Bridge.
Seven male puppies were taken from the family home in Station Road, close to Greenhalgh's, at around 1am on Sunday (October 20).
The family, who have asked not to be named, said they had been asleep when the thief (or thieves) gained entry to the home and stole the litter.
The mum of the distraught family said she believes the home was targeted for the prize pups, which are sold for around £2,000 each due to their rare blue coats.
"It breaks my heart to think of them being snatched away in the middle of the night", said the pups' 31-year-old owner and mum-of-three.
"They broke in whilst me and my children were asleep and they took six of the boys.
"They just left one boy behind for some reason.
"They are only two-weeks old and they are supposed to be on antibiotics, so they are very, very vulnerable at the moment."
The litter had originally consisted of 11 puppies, but three girl pups and a boy died within 10 days of being born, leaving seven boys.
"I have been bottle feeding them every four hours because the mum didn't take to them. But the vet said they won't last long without the proper care."
The family said the puppies are also dependent on heat pads to keep them alive, after their mum - 17-month-old Nala - rejected them.
"I've been weening the puppies since Nala gave birth to them, because she just didn't take to them at all.
"From the start she just wouldn't nurture them, so I've been bottle feeding them and keeping them warm with heat pads.
"Because they are so young and weak, they need special round-the-clock care and a full course of antibiotics to fend off any infections.
"They have been bottle fed, so they might be able to survive without their mum, but they can't survive without the proper care and conditions."
The family said it still hopes to be reunited with the litter, but they fear it is a race against time.
"We've been told by the vets that the puppies won't last long without the heat pads and medicine.
"With the help of the Lancashire Post, we want to make the puppies too hot to handle."
An appeal posted on social media has been shared more than 5,000 times since Sunday (October 20).
"It's going to be difficult for the thieves to sell them around the Bamber Bridge and Preston area because so many people are aware of what's happened.
"Blue Frenchies are quite rare, so if anyone is buying one, please ask to see their papers first. If they don't have any, they're not legit.
"If you're offered a blue French Bulldog puppy, take note of their features and how the seller acquired them and ask lots of questions. If something doesn't seem right, contact the police.
"We have pictures of all our puppies, and I'd recognise them in a second if one of them was ours.
"Also, people should always ask to see the mum when they are thinking of buying a puppy.
"If a seller says you can't see the mum for whatever reason, then there is always the chance the puppies could be stolen."
The family suspect that the thief is familiar with the local area and had been aware of the puppies and their potential value.
"How else would they know to target our house?", said the mum-of-three.
"Why us? I think whoever it was must have known about the puppies and came especially for them. Definitely.
"Nothing else was taken or disturbed. They were in and out and knew exactly what they were doing. Someone out there knows where these puppies are. Please, do the right thing and return them now, before it's too late for them."
Lancashire Police confirmed that it is investigating the puppy theft.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of the French Bulldog puppies, you can contact police on 101, quoting log number 0170 of October 20.