A puppy was stolen by burglars who raided a house and assaulted the people living there.

The three men took the four-month-old bulldog puppy along with mobile phones and a laptop from the house in Church Road, Leyton.

The burglars knocked on the door at about 12.30am, claiming to be the police, and when a 40-year-old woman answered it they pushed her into the front bedroom and slapped her round the head and face repeatedly.

They then hit her on her left leg with the handle of an axe.

When they demanded money from her, a 38-year-old woman asleep in the bedroom woke up.

One of the burglars then kicked in the bathroom door to find a 34-year-old woman, who he punched in the face.

The burglars then searched the house, stealing the white and tan puppy, worth £2,000, the phones worth £120 together, and a blue Acer laptop worth £500.

The burglary occurred on Thursday, January 17, but police have only just appealed for help.

All three men had their faces covered and wore dark clothing but one was described as black, 6ft tall and of stocky build.

Another was also black and was 5ft 7ins tall, while the last was white and 5ft 7ins tall.

None of the women required medical treatment.

Waltham Forest police are appealing for anyone who has any information about the crime, or who knows the whereabouts of the dog, to contact Detective Constable Jack from Waltham Forest Burglary and Robbery Team on 020 8721 5042.

To remain anonymous they can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.