THE devastated owner of a stolen puppy has spoken of his worry over how she is being treated by the man who took her.

Police appealed for the public’s help after 13-week-old Staffordshire bull terrier Sniff was stolen during a burglary at a house in Oswaldtwistle.

And John Spencer, 32, said he was concerned about Sniff’s well-being.

Yesterday, the Lancashire Telegraph reported how dogs were being stolen to be used as bait in ‘barbaric’ fighting, leading to further concerns about Sniff’s welfare.

Mr Spencer said: “Sniff could be being kept in a cage, or anything.

“She normally sleeps on my bed. I really don’t know why someone has taken her. Just thinking about it upsets me.”

Black and white Sniff was wearing a lilac-coloured collar, which contained several metal-shaped bone pendants, when she was taken at around 1.50am on Saturday, March 8, after a man entered the house.

Mr Spencer said he believed police were trying their best to catch the offender. He said: “The police came on Sunday and said the man got a taxi to Westwood Street, and CID have not got back to me yet.

“The man tried to sell Sniff to somebody in Lonsdale Street when he was drunk that night.

“I’m devastated. I have another dog, and she is depressed.”

Officers have carried out inquiries in, and around, the local area to try and identify the man responsible, who is believed to be of a large build, aged in his mid to late 30s, with short dark hair, shaved shorter on the sides.

He was wearing a dark jacket, jeans, white trainers, and a grey T.shirt with a motif across the chest, and spoke with a Scottish accent.

PC Mark Nutter said: “We believe the person responsible for taking Sniff has tried to sell the puppy to a number of people. I would appeal to anybody that has been offered Sniff for sale, or knows where she is, to contact police.”

Anyone with any information can call police on 101.