THIEVES snatched two pedigree dogs in an overnight raid in Hampshire.

The border terriers - Molly, six, and Pepper, 13 - were taken from their secluded stable yard in the New Forest in the middle of the night along with two working ferrets called Chalky and Roly.

The theft has devastated owner Trevor Kill who says he is “clutching at straws” in their attempts to find them.

Signs have been put up across the area but both Trevor and his partner Deborah, who live in Brockishill Road, Bartley, fear that Pepper will be dumped because of her age.

Trevor, who owns both dogs, has had Pepper since she was three years old and bred Molly from her.

The 54-year-old former saw mill operator, said: “We're devastated. They took some other stuff from the tack room but you can replace that. You can't replace your animals.

“The older girl won't understand what's going on. We're worried that they won't treat them right. We just don't know what they mean to do with her.

“If you were a dog person it wouldn't take long to realise how old she is.

“I've had his dogs a long time and I'm riddled with worry about what's going to happen to them.”

The couple do not even have any pictures of the missing dogs.

Molly is described as black and tan with a thick coat which is almost parted along her back because of the thickness.

Pepper is grey and smaller than Molly and has a small bald patch on top of her back.

Police are investigating the thefts which happened overnight between February 11 and 12.

They say the intruder got into the yard and forced their way into individual stables by cutting padlocks. They also took horse collars.

Officers are not linking it to any other incidents.

But several other dogs have been stolen in the area and it comes less than two years after a Daily Echo investigation revealed criminals across the county were stealing high-value breeds to order.

Last year three men were arrested for a spate of dog thefts across the county.

Anyone with information should contact the West Area Country Team based at Lyndhurst on 101.