A PET dog was left to die in a pool of blood after its throat was cut by burglars.

Ben Halliday, 24, was distraught after returning to his house in Sunnybank Street, Haslingden, to find his American bulldog Cyrus dead in the back yard.

The house was broken into in the early hours of the morning and hundreds of pounds worth of goods had been taken.

Ben believes four-year-old Cyrus would have tried to defend the home, and was stabbed by burglars who had a knife.

His other dog, Staffordshire bull terrier puppy Coco, who is seven months old, survived the attack but was traumatised.

Ben said: “I’d been to the pub and came back at about half past midnight to let the dogs out, and then locked up.

“When I came home in the early afternoon I found a brick had been thrown through the back window, there was lots of glass, and stuff missing.

“Then I found the dog in the back yard in a pool of blood with his throat cut. “He’d been stabbed in the chest, down from the throat to the chest.

“My other dog was sat cowering on top of the body.

“I didn’t believe it at first. I walked back in the house for a minute, then I came back out. I was gutted.

“It was probably the worst thing I’ve seen.

“I rang the police and waited for them to come.

“They took all my jewellery, five watches, two laptops, and Playstation 4 and a game.

“I think he was trying to protect the house. I have my little girl, Evie Maria, here sometimes. They were close him and the little girl, it was her dog really.”

Ben said he has not yet brought himself to tell two-year-old Evie Maria what has happened to her pet.

He said: “I haven’t told her yet. I went to see her this morning and just took the puppy so she didn’t ask.

“I’m more upset about the dog, it’s bad enough being burgled, but the dog was part of the family.

“Coco is traumatised, she’s not left my side, she’s curled up on my bed on the pillow now, but as soon as she wakes up she won’t leave my side.”

Ben believes that the burglars targeted his house specifically, and came armed with a knife to ward off the dog.

He said: “They must have known there was a dog here and they must have come armed with a knife. I just hope the police catch them.”

Police said the burglars, at around 2am on Monday, smashed a window and reached inside for a key to open the back door.

The offenders then made their way into the living room at which point they were set upon by Cyrus.

Police said the dog in the chest with a sharp object, causing him to run out into the back yard, where he died as a result of his injuries.

The burglar then searched the living room stealing electrical items and jewellery, including a Playstation 4 and Call of Duty game, two laptops, three gold rings, two gold chains, a gold crucifix and four gents watches, before leaving the scene.

DC Ryan Waddington said: “This mindless act has left the owner of the dog devastated and we are very keen to trace the person, or people, responsible.

There was also a young puppy inside the address which was unharmed but it has been left traumatised. “Given the older dog has tried to protect the property, the offender may well have injuries consistent with being bitten or scratched.”

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting log number LC-20140120-0818. Or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.