A Gisborne dog breeder has been left devastated by the dog-napping of two of her beloved show dogs.
The pair of five-month-old British bulldog puppies - named Maui and Alleycat - were taken from the woman's Bushmere home on Friday morning.
Their owner's friend Michelle Polwarth contacted the Herald about the theft because the woman who owned the dogs, Karen, whose surname Polwarth asked to be withheld due to fear of retribution, was too distraught to talk.
"She's just in a state, just in tears."
The puppies' mother Alice was a top show dog that died while pregnant with 10 puppies.
Vets managed to save three of the dogs - including Maui and Alleycat - by doing an emergency caesarean. They were born very premature and Karen hand-reared them.
Polwarth said Karen was "an absolute mess" after she arrived home from work about lunchtime and discovered her house had been broken into and the dogs were gone.
"She's not really recovered from losing the mother and she's not coping at all."
It's the second time the woman has had British bulldogs stolen.
Polwarth told the Herald another of Karen's top show dogs was taken from her home four years ago, but that time police tracked down the thief and reunited Karen with her beloved pet.
Yesterday's theft had been reported to the police, Polwarth said.
A police spokeswoman confirmed police had received a report of two puppies being stolen from a house in Bushmere.
Polwarth said British bulldogs aren't fighting dogs and Karen had no idea why anyone would want to steal the pair of "loving family pets".
"They're her babies. She lives for her babies. They sleep in her bed with her. They're absolute everything. They are her family."