A couple were left heartbroken on their wedding day after callous thieves broke into their house and stole seven dogs.

Diane and Ronnie Ross, of Hermitage Street, Rishton, had left to go to the wedding ceremony when the unknown offenders broke into cages and stole the dogs.

They took four Miniature Schnauzers, a Toy Poodle and two Dachshunds worth around £5,000.

The newly married couple, who work as greyhound trainers, returned just before midnight on their wedding day to find the locks broken and their other dogs running around the yard.

Mrs Ross, who has been breeding Schnauzers for about 25 years, said losing one is like losing an arm.

She said: “They are like your children, in a way. It wasn’t the romantic weekend we imagined and it’s the last thing you want on your wedding day.

“On that night we had police here until 3.30am and didn’t get to bed until 4.30am. We were that worried and upset that we didn’t get to sleep. I’m reliving what’s happened every day. Only last week I had a vivid dream about the whole night.”

Stolen: A Daschund and a Miniature Schnauzer
Stolen: A Daschund and a Miniature Schnauzer
 

She added that her wedding dress got very dirty as she tried to catch their remaining loose dogs and it ruined their plans for a romantic weekend.

The dogs were stolen sometime between 3pm and 11.50pm on Saturday, September 21 and the offenders also vandalised the victims’ van by spray painting it with lettering.

Mrs Ross said two of their Schnauzers were pregnant and some of the stolen dogs were microchipped.

A reward is also being offered for the safe return of the dogs.

She said: “I don’t think I will ever see them again. They didn’t get a couple of my dogs but they probably couldn’t carry them.

“Some of them are microchipped and if they take them to a vet they are now registered as stolen.

“They vandalised my van by spraying writing on it with pink aerosol and that took four hours to scrub off.”

Police believe the crooks entered the back yard of the property and escaped through a field.

PC Johanna Maden has appealed for anyone with information to contact police. She said: “The owners of these dogs have been left devastated and we want to do all we can to reunite them with their pets.

“What makes this all the more devastating for the owners is that they were stolen on their wedding day.

“The RSPCA has also been notified and is checking all the pet sales websites.

“It should also be noted that two of the female Schnauzers were pregnant.”

Anybody with any information can contact police on 101.