TWO youngsters were left devastated after their pet guinea pigs were stolen from their garden and killed.
Emily Straughan, nine, and her sister Hannah, four, had only had their pets, called Black Beauty and Caramel, for a matter of days when they went missing from their home in Newbiggin on Friday.
Their parents Peter Straughan and Philippa Simpson had bought the guinea pigs as a treat for the girls, spending £100 on them, along with a hutch and accessories.
A few days later, the girls went to Blackpool for a break with their mum and grandmother, but while they were away, Peter, 33, a chef, was horrified to find the hutch missing.
While searching streets nearby, he found one guinea pig dead, along with the contents of the missing hutch.
The other guinea pig is presumed to be dead too, though its body has yet to be found.
Emily said: “We were on holiday, and someone came and pinched them.
“It made me feel sad because I had only had them a week on Thursday.
“We were going to Blackpool Pleasure Beach when my dad phoned my mum saying someone pinched the guinea pigs.
“We found my little sister’s pet dead on Saturday at the top of Seaton Avenue.
“I don’t like seeing animals killed.”
Philippa, 30, a school cleaner, said she believed the guinea pigs had been kicked to death after the hutch was lifted over the garden wall.
“People just can’t leave anything alone,” she said.
“It’s just horrible the way they have treated the animals.”
The girls now have two new guinea pigs, Dude and Coffee, but they will be kept indoors to stop the same fate befalling them.
A police spokesman said: “Between midnight on Thursday, August 9, and 10am on August 10, a guinea pig hutch was stolen from the backyard of a home in Northumberland Avenue, Newbiggin.
“The hutch appears to have been emptied onto the ground and the two guinea pigs left to die.
“Anyone with information is asked to contact police on the non-emergency number 101 ext 69191.”