Police are appealing for the safe return of a number of puppies after they were stolen overnight from a dog breeder.

The two litters of puppies, some just three weeks old, were taken along with a number of adult dogs, including some which were pregnant, from Jackson Farm on Hunters Lane in Tarleton.

The theft was discovered at 7am this morning (Thursday, May 14th)

The thieves are believed to have broken into the kennels overnight to take the dogs, 22 in total, before making off in a vehicle.

Sadly a Cockapoo puppy, believed to have been run over by the getaway vehicle, was also found dead on the grounds of the farm.

Sgt Amber Yahchouchi from Ormskirk Police said: “This is an absolutely despicable offence undoubtedly motivated by pure greed as the dogs which were stolen were the most valuable breeds

“The puppies had already been paid for and reserved, so there will be families and children who will be especially upset.

“We are really concerned for the welfare of these animals and we don’t know whether they will be looked after properly. It’s important to remember that given their young age and the fact some of the dogs are pregnant, these animals require professional care.

“If you or someone you know have been offered puppies for sale, even if you have been told they won’t be ready for a few weeks, please let us know. Some of them look very distinctive and will be easy to identify.

“We are also asking people who are part of dog interest groups on social media to please spread the message and report any information about the whereabouts of these animals to us so we can get them back safe and well.”

You can email 3945@lancashire.pnn.police.uk or call 101 quoting incident reference 236 of today (May 14th). Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.