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Bulldog pup stolen in raid found dead at front gate

A PUPPY worth £4,000 stolen during a burglary was found dead after being tied to her owner’s front gate.

Gemma Knowles and her family were heartbroken when thieves took their beloved British bulldog Wilma, who had only been with them four weeks, on March 19.

The mum-of-three launched a Facebook appeal to help find the dog, as well as their Mercedes 4X4 and her son’s £40 pocket money.

Two days later she and her partner Andrew Bolland, 36, found Wilma trapped in a wire noose and hanging from the gate. They could not revive her and she has been cremated.

Family: Gemma with tiny Wilma PICTURES: SWNS

‘I cannot understand how anyone could do that,’ said teaching assistant Gemma, 31, who believes the dog was taken because of her high value.

‘The police think they brought Wilma back alive but with the way she was tied and how tight it was she probably would not have lasted more than half an hour.

‘I’m holding on to the hope that she was not in any pain and did not suffer.’ Ms Knowles said her family are now ‘petrified’ at their home in Darwen, Lancashire. But she is also determined to see justice and has called for help tracing a black Ford Kuga captured on CCTV on the day of the theft.

‘We will not stop until we find out who did this to our dog,’ said Ms Knowles, as she urged witnesses to call police.

‘This sort of thing will happen again if they are not caught.’ Police said they are investigating.