TWO pedigree dogs have been stolen just days after their owner held a charity fundraiser.

Michelle Hall, the director of Prada Paws dog grooming salon in Church Street, Little Lever, was devastated when she discovered Minnie and Arnie, her Japanese Shiba Inu dogs, had been stolen from the backyard of her business on Friday.

The dogs are thought to be worth about £900 each.

It was only days after she raised £141 for Japanese Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support, a charity helping animals affected by the disaster.

She said: “I thought I was doing a nice thing raising money and then my dogs get stolen.

“I was in the flat upstairs and I heard a noise, so I ran out and there were no dogs in the garden and the padlock on the gate had been broken.

“I went out into the street and was shouting for them.”

The thieves cut a padlock on Ms Hall’s sixand- a-half foot high garden gate, which backs on to Church Street.

Neighbours have told police they saw the dogs being put inside a white Transit van.

She said: “They are not a commonly known breed, they are unusual but they look like Japanese Akita dogs but smaller.

“I don’t understand why anybody would do this. It is vicious and malicious. The dogs are going to be so frightened. They don’t go up to people they don’t know easily.”

Both dogs are microchipped.

Arnie, aged 10 months, is black and tan and Minnie, aged six, who has competed in Crufts, has apricot coloured ears.

Michelle had planned to take part in a charity walk in Staffordshire yesterday to raise more money for the cause. Anyone with information should call Michelle on 07791 683760.

Two men, one very tall and the other wearing a red bandana, were seen getting into the van close to Ms Hall’s business at about 2pm.

Police are investigating.

Call 0161 872 5050 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 with information.