A WOMAN is appealing for the return of her heartbroken mother’s dog - after a threatening call in which the pup was held to ransom.

Izabella Skprzpniak had her rare dog stolen from her daughter’s house on the border of Little Hulton and Farnworth.

The dog, a male Pekingese Tri-Colour called Mocko, was taken from the garden on New Year’s Day.

The one-year-old is a rare breed in the UK and can sell for several thousands of pounds.

Miss Skprzpniak’s daughter, Joanna, said that the pair had since been threatened by a man claiming to have the dog - saying that he would kill the canine unless he received £2,000.

She said: “On the first of January, at around 3pm, he was taken from my garden where he’d been playing with my dog.

“I’ve been looking at the CCTV footage from the area and I think that one of the people who took Mocko was driving a silver BMW X5 from 2004.

“If you Google the breed, you can see that they sell for £2,000 to £3,000 - they are a really unusual dog and are rarely found in England.”

Widely reported increases in the number of dogs stolen prior to and throughout lockdown have prompted over 140,000 people to sign a petition calling for the government to make pet theft a specific crime.

Izabella has been left “heartbroken” by the incident, as she appealed to local residents to come forward if they know anything.

Joanna added: “Just imagine if someone stole a child. My mum loved that dog to bits and treated it like a baby. She is heartbroken and crying all the time.”

The callers are also said to have told the pair their house would be torched. The pair have appealed to anyone who may have any information to contact police. Mocko was wearing a green camouflage harness when he was taken.

If you have any information regarding the incident, call police on 101.