The owners of a 14-week-old puppy have been left ‘heartbroken’ after it was stolen from their car.

Police are appealing for help to find miniature Dachshund ‘Ace’ who was taken from High Beech near Loughton on Sunday.

The dog was stolen from inside a black Smart car parked in the car park of the Kings Oak Hotel in Pauls Nursery Road, between 4pm and 5pm.

Owner Lauren Purdy, 27, from Woodford Green had taken Ace for a long walk that afternoon before stopping at the hotel for some food.

When she returned to her car she found Ace, along with his bed, blankets and a hot water bottle had been stolen.

She said: "I feel absolutely heartbroken and that half of me is missing.

"My partner bought him for me as an early Christmas present and I've grown completely attached to him.

"I tend to take him everywhere with me, I just never thought he would get taken from the car.

Miss Purdy is pleading for the black and tan puppy to be returned to his owners.

She said: "I feel sickened that there are people out there that would take a dog away from its family.

"A dog really does become a big part of your family and someone has taken him from me, it's wicked and inhumane. I pray we get him back."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at Loughton on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.