A FAMILY say they are suffering sleepless nights after thieves cut through a padlock to steal their prized pets.

Lucy Gaunt said she woke up to find her three English springer spaniels had been taken from kennels at her home.

The thieves stole the three pedigree dogs – and it has left the family devastated.

Lucy said could see out of her window the padlock hanging on the gate and knew immediately what had happened.

But her two-year-old daughter cannot understand where her pets have gone.

Now Lucy has offered a £1,000 reward for information about the theft at Brightling, near Hastings, on May 14.

The Argus:

She does not want to reveal the names of the dogs in case it helps the thieves form a bond with them.

Lucy said: “Our family is devastated and we have had sleepless nights.

“Usually we keep ourselves to ourselves. It was terrible to look out of the window. I looked at the padlock which we keep with a chain wrapped around it.

“It was hanging down, I knew instantly someone had been in there, it was not the way we had left it the night before.

“At first I was absolutely terrified that someone has been here. You can’t imagine doing that to someone else that has young children.

“We have had reports of other incidents in the area, so we are all on alert.”

She said the theft has been reported to the police who are investigating.

Lucy said: “We just need as much help as possible.

“The thieves cut the heavy duty padlock to gain access into the main kennel block and proceeded to cut the internal padlocks into the individual kennels of where our three English springer spaniels were kept.

“Dog theft is on the rise and even more so since coronavirus hit our country. We need to spread this news far and wide in the hope of our dogs being found, returned or to get some information.”

Lucy, who has had the dogs for two years, said the damage caused by the break-in meant none of the padlocks can be used again.

She issued an appeal to whoever has stolen the three dogs, saying: “Please bring them back. They are loved so much, all three of them.

“We are missing part of the family.

“I haven’t been able to explain to my two-year-old daughter, who still tries to go up to the kennel block to see them. She is dog mad. We just want them home.”

The theft is believed to have happened in the early hours of May 14.

Anyone who has information can email lucygaunt08@gmail.com.