Police are investigating after 2 hound puppies were stolen from a farm in Essex.

The 2 bitches, who belong to the Essex Farmers Union, were taken from a farm at Ramsden Heath, near Chelmsford between 9pm on 18 November and 8am on 19 November.

The 14-week-old hounds had only been with their puppy walker Debbie Friswell for 9 days before they were taken.

“I think they must have seen them [the puppies] or heard the noise,” Ms Friswell told H&H.

“It was the first night that I had put the outside in the barn rather than had them in the house. They didn’t take anything else.”

One puppy is called Vintage and has a number 1 tattooed on the inside of one ear and the other is called Village and has a number 2.

Ms Friswell is concerned that thieves have mistaken the hounds for Labrador or Beagle crosses.

“People don’t realise that they are outdoor pack animals,” Ms Friswell added.

“They are not going to be able to train them in terms of continence or how boisterous they are.”

Countryside Alliance spokesman Charlotte Cooper reiterated that hound puppies are not domestic pets.

“While a 3-month-old hound puppy is a very appealing house pet, the same cannot be said of a fully grown one – ask any puppy walker!” Mrs Cooper said.

“Hounds are highly intelligent canines and bred to do a job. They are big and have very energetic natures and can become extremely destructive when forced to live the life of a pampered pet.

“Anyone who takes these on thinking they are Labradors will have a big surprise.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Claire Forster, or her colleagues at Essex police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.