A gamekeeper and his wife have made an emotional plea for the safe return of their dogs after they were taken by thieves who stole their Landrover Defender.
The two working dogs, springer spaniels Dan and Finn, were in the back of Ribble Valley builder and part-time gamekeeper Charlie Nutter’s dark green Landrover Defender when it was stolen from outside The Eagle at Barrow between 4 and 4-10 pm on Wednesday.
Charlie was making a delivery of birds to the back entrance of The Eagle at Barrow and had turned his back for just minutes to fill crates when thieves drove off in the Landrover.
Charlie’s wife Debra explained: “I don’t even think that whoever took it realised that the dogs were in the back as there are no windows.”
She added: “We’re just hoping that someone out there will see or find them. It is just unbelievable, it shakes your faith in the world.”
Debra said that she is glad that Charlie had not disturbed the thieves and dreads to think what would have happened if he had.
“We cannot get our heads around what has happened really. It was so opportunist. I’m just thankful Charlie is ok.”
Charlie has had Dan for 10 years, and Finn, who is micro chipped, from just before Christmas. All local vets have been informed about their disappearance.
“Dan has been part of the family and I know it would really make Charlie’s day to get the dogs back.”
Police are now appealing for any information that members of the public may have regarding the theft of both the Landrover Defender and the dogs.
The vehicle, registration number YE64 WNN, is very distinctive and has a spare wheel on the back, not on the front. It also has a roof rack and is kitted out to carry tools.
Sgt Dave Simpson at Clitheroe Police said: “This is quite a distinctive vehicle and we would appreciate it if anyone with information about its whereabouts would get in touch as soon as possible.”
Anyone with information about the incident should call the police on 101.