Police are warning pet buyers to be on their guard after a litter of 11-week-old puppies were dognapped by armed burglars.
Two men brandishing a knife and a meat cleaver forced their way into a house in Wigan on Monday morning, threatening a woman and her children before stealing four of the pure-breed pups.
In the theft three tan-coloured bitches called Deon, Pepper and Decota and one tan-coloured dog called Ty were taken.
They are of the Dogue de Bordeaux breed, also known as French Mastiff or Bordeaux Mastiff, and can grow to be extremely large and powerful.
Now detectives believe the thieves will try to sell on the dogs in Salford or Manchester.
Detective Constable Cameron Hackett, from Wigan CID, said: “This was an extremely frightening ordeal for the victim and her young children who had to witness these men threaten their mum in their own home.
“The family are worried sick about the puppies and just want to know they are safe.
“These men will probably try to get rid of the dogs quickly and anyone who is offered a Dogue de Bordeaux puppy in the Greater Manchester area is urged to call us.
Anyone with any information can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.