A stolen pregnant dog in Taranaki has thankfully been returned to its owners, but without its puppies.
The owners are grateful their King Charles Spaniel is home, but are concerned about where the puppies will have ended up.
The breed can reach thousands of dollars each.
David Lloyd from Companion Animals NZ runs a lost and found dog website. He told Heather du Plessis-Allan that the people who have taken the puppies would struggle to sell them.
"They are going to be hard to adopt or sell now, and if they are out there, they can possibly be rehomed in a number of months or years."
He says that all puppies should be with their mothers until they are at least eight weeks old, and they have concerns for them in that sense.