Countryfile viewers appalled as distraught family has three dogs worth £7.5k stolen in horror burglary

COUNTRYFILE fans were shocked by one family's dog theft ordeal during lockdown.

Guest John told Countryfile host Tom Heap about the rise of dog theft and his personal experience with his own dogs being stolen on Sunday's night's episode.

The pair discussed how rising dog prices during lockdown had prompted a surge of thefts and urged owners to take precautions.

Sadly, lone walkers appear to be the ones targeted the most, Tom explained.

Viewers were disgusted to learn how John, living in Sussex, had three dogs worth £7,500 stolen from his family home.

He counited to mention how the demand for puppies has tripled in the last year.

John told Tom that three of his dogs were stolen from his kennels last year and he found the padlocks had been cut through.

John said his dogs were “extremely” important to him and they were a “key asset to the job”.

Taking to Twitter, fans expressed their fury with John and his family story.

One viewer penned: “Dog theft on #countryfile heart-breaking”.

Another wrote: “Dog theft is awfully cruel”.

A third said: “Deffo need much harsher sentences for Dognappers.”

Another viewer protested: “Tougher sentences needed for scum that steal dogs…heartbreaking.”

Talking about the nature of working from home, Tom pointed out how easy dog theft has become as he said: “Remote working locations and the countryside are a dream catch for the criminals.”

John had high security protecting his dogs, yet it didn't stop the thieves.

The police mentioned how they were expert criminals who “knew what they were up to” and “came prepared”.

Talking about the emotional toll the theft has caused, John said: “90 percent of the time I am out and about on my own."

"I don’t have people with me so, they’re like my mates," John added.

The theft negatively impacted John’s daughter, Lucy who didn’t sleep for months after.

John said he doesn’t want to replace the pooches as he hopes they will be returned.

Later in the episode, John and his family were reunited with one of the dogs called Pip, who was found over 50 miles away from their home.

Countryfile returns on Sunday at 6pm on BBC One.

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