Brutal raiders beat a family's much-loved dog to death as they ransacked their home.
A mum and her two children found their property "destroyed" and Staffordshire Bull Terrier Theo cowering by the front door when they returned on Monday evening, November 2.
The beloved pet – described by the mum as her "third child" – suffered spinal injuries and internal bleeding and had to be put down by a vet.
The raiders took jewellery belonging to the 27-year-old and her daughter, five, and other valuables.
But the mother, who also has a two-year-old son, told BirminghamLive the loss of Theo was the real hammer blow.
She said: "It's bad enough to be burgled and have your possessions taken but to me, they've murdered him, he's been stolen from me.
"He was just protecting his home. The jewellery, I don't care about that, I don't want them to do this to any other family. It's hurting me but my two children – that was their best friend.
"It's the fear of not knowing who it is. It's almost that fear of it could have been anybody. This home is not our safe place anymore – they've taken that away from us."
In a plea to the burglars, she added: "I wish you had a conscience. The destruction that you have caused, it's irreparable."
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The raiders struck as their home in Alwold Road, Weoley Castle, as the family visited the mum's sister-in-law to drop off a gift.
They ripped off internal doors to barricade the front entrance in a bid to stop anyone from disrupting the burglary.
"The house was empty for about two hours," the mum said.
"We arrived home about 7.40pm. As I tried to open the front door it was blocked, I thought my dog had knocked down a big mirror behind the door. So I was calling the dog.
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"My dog was cowering by the front door. He usually runs to the door, but he was shaking. I knew something was wrong."
She noticed a couple of hundreds of pounds-worth of her own jewellery, watches and personal items had been stolen, but she admitted her main concern was her dog.
"I put it down to the stress of it all must have upset him. He was a little bit slower, he was acting so tired," she continued.
She called the vets on Tuesday and was told to keep an eye on him, but his condition worsened through the week.
"On Wednesday morning, he was yelping in agony, it was like a scream," she explained.
"His back legs had completely gone. He tried to stand up and collapsed in front of my daughter, and she was hysterically screaming.
"I took him to the vet they said his whole body had suffered trauma and internal bleeding. They [the burglars] had beat him.
The mum said her neighbour's Ring doorbell footage captured 'two hooded figures' standing on her driveway – one of whom had a bicycle – ahead of the burglary.
West Midlands Police is investigating and urged anyone with information or who witnessed the burglary to come forward.
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