Stolen puppies returned to family after being left on front porch in middle of the night
A litter of French Bulldog puppies stolen from a family in Bamber Bridge has been returned.
The two-week old pups were snatched from a home in Station Road during a break-in at around 1am on Sunday, October 20.
But in the early hours of yesterday morning (Thursday, October 24), six of the seven puppies were returned to their owner, who does not wish to be named.
The mum-of-three, 31, said she thought she was dreaming when she heard the sound of puppies crying in the middle of the night.
"I woke up at about 5.40am and heard a crying noise downstairs. I said to my partner, "can you hear that? It sounds like a puppy".
"I thought I was dreaming or imagining it, but we jumped out of bed and ran downstairs and there they were, left in a box in our front porch.
"They had a towel over them, but the porch is freezing and two of the pups didn't look very well at all.
"One of them is still missing. Either they kept it or it’s died whilst with them because they didn't know how to care for it properly.
"It's heartbreaking, but I just can't believe that the others are back home and still fighting.
"Our hearts are full, but the boys are in a critical condition. We'll just have to wait and see what the next few days brings."
But the trauma of the dognapping has taken its toll on the puppies.
Since visiting the vet yesterday, one of the puppies has died and another remains in critical condition.
"The puppies were put on oxygen at the vets and some of the boys remain in a very bad way. One of them has already died from pneumonia and another is critical", said the owner.
"It's just a waiting game now. We're just praying that the others can pull through."
The 31-year-old mum said she thinks the publicity from social media and the local press made the puppies "too hot to handle".
"I'd like to say thank you to everyone who has helped by sharing our appeal and for all the lovely messages of support.
"We are so grateful for all the shares, comments and private messages. I think they knew they wouldn't be able to sell them because of all the shares on Facebook and I think the coverage from the media will have definitely put pressure on them to be returned.
"There was no way they were going to be able to sell them without a lot of questions being asked."
The puppies' owner said she will continue to seek justice for the pups.
"I still want it dealt with properly by the police. They can’t get away with it because they will just do it again and the next person might not be as lucky as us.
"They might have brought them back this time, but I don’t think they felt guilty or anything, because they haven't even looked after them.
"One is still missing, and has probably died, another has also died because of the neglect and lack of proper care, and another pup is still critical.
"It's more than just theft. These pups are really vulnerable and they've suffered a lot of neglect since they were taken from us last week.
"Whoever did this must be brought to justice."
Lancashire Police confirmed that it is investigating the puppy theft.
If you know who is responsible for the puppy theft, you can contact police on 101, quoting log number 0170 of October 20.
The family said it is facing a vets bill of £1,412. An online fundraiser has been set up to help cover the costs.