Police are hunting down a pair of violent thugs who attacked a female dog walker during an evening stroll, and robbed her of her miniature dachshund.
Joanna Fox, 50, was assaulted by two men at around 8.20pm last Sunday (11 April) as she walked past a petrol station in Woodville, Derbyshire.
‘Lost and broken’
The two men pushed Ms Fox to the ground and snatched her beloved pet sausage dog Minnie from her as it yelped in pain, fleeing with the two-year-old dog in tow.
Speaking to the BBC, Ms Fox explained that one of the men knocked her over and grabbed Minnie, while the other held his fist to her face.
She said: “A man who was masked pushed me and I fell on the ground.
"The tall man was yanking the lead and the short one was hovering above me as if to hit my face.
"The look on the short man's face was a look of hate. Minnie was shouting in pain.
"All I want is the dog to come back. I just feel broken, I feel lost."
Appeal for information
Derbyshire Police has now launched an investigation to track down the thugs and appealed for any witnesses, or anyone who has any information, to come forward.
Police said the men left with the dog in a black Ford Mondeo, with a registration beginning YG60, in the direction of Albert Village.
Both men are described as being in their 30s, with one being white, of a stocky build and with short fair hair.
Detectives are also asking anyone who was in the nearby Asda filling station in Burton Road between 8pm and 8.15pm to get in touch.
South Derbyshire Police Chief Inspector Chris Thornhill said: “Incidents such as this are, thankfully, very rare in Derbyshire.
“However, I am very aware of the impact that these crimes have on victims and how worried fellow dog owners will be hearing this news.
“Patrols have been stepped up in the area and you may see an increased police presence in the coming days.
"I would urge anyone with information, or concerns, to speak to them.”