THE OWNER of three labrador puppies, which were stolen from a farm, has spoken of his elation after they were returned to him unharmed today.
Heartless thieves took the 10-week-old pups during a raid on a barn at Huntley Cot Farm in Gorebridge, Midlothian.
The building was forced open during the night and the puppies were taken along with a Honda 500 quad bike
The male puppies, two pure black and one gold, were found after police received a phone call about their whereabouts.
Gareth Jones, 34, a gamekeeper at the farm, who owns the puppies and bikes said: “We are overjoyed to have the puppies back.
“I was worried the thieves would have turfed the puppies out once word got out.
“Although the quad bike is gone, we are talking about lives with the puppies so it’s a relief to have them back.”
Mr Jones explained the puppies came from an original litter of seven born to the farm’s working dogs, Ellie, 6 and Kiwi, 7 and he and his son Damian, 11, plan on keeping one.
He said: “The puppies were really hungry when we got them back but were healthy otherwise.
“My son is over the moon to have them back and tried to convince me to keep all three but that would be a bit too much so we’ll still be keeping the golden one and looking for good safe homes for the other two.
“It has taken a bit of the sting out of the theft but these scumbags need to be stopped.
“The amount of rural crime is getting ridiculous.
“Thefts on farms are becoming very common that it’s like a part of life.
“A neighbour farm has had three quad bikes stolen in the past three years.
“It’s disconcerting knowing there are these people snooping around and I don’t like to think what would have happened if I had caught them.
“The puppies will be the undoing of them though.
“I think they came for the quad bike but saw the puppies and thought ‘we’ll have those as well’ but they bit off more than they could chew.”
Officers in Midlothian are continuing to appeal for information following the incident which happened at some time between 10pm on Sunday and 7.45am on Monday.
A spokeswoman from Police Scotland said: “Police in Midlothian can confirm that following an appeal for information, three stolen Labrador puppies have been recovered safe and well and returned to their owner.
“In response to the appeal we made on Monday, we received a phone call and the puppies were recovered.
“Inquiries are ongoing to establish how the puppies came to be removed for their home in the Gorebridge area on Sunday night.
“Police would like to thank the public for their assistance in this matter.”