A County Armagh woman has been left devastated after the ashes of her pet dog were emptied from an urn during a burglary at her home at the weekend.
Thousands of pounds worth of jewellery was also taken, including irreplaceable items belonging to her late mother.
The burglary – which happpened at Magretta Park in Lurgan on Saturday – was one of five in the area that evening.
It happened just the day before the woman had been due to celebrate her 52nd birthday.
The cruel thieves tore open Christmas gifts.
But in a sickening incident they also emptied the dog’s ashes out in their hunt for valuables.
The woman and her husband had travelled to Banbridge for a meal with their daughter. They left at 6pm and, when they returned around four hours later, they did so to find the house had been ransacked.
The woman’s engagement, wedding and eternity rings were among the thieves’ haul, as well as a gold necklace which had been a gift from her husband.
Two necklaces belonging to her late mother and rings, which had belonged to her mother-in-law, were also taken.
Gold diamond earrings worth more than £1,000 and a birthday present from her daughter of an emerald and diamond ring – which had been given that same day – were taken too.
What sickened the family most was the emptying of the urn.
The woman, who has been left shaken and unable to sleep since the weekend raid, told the Belfast Telegraph: “My dog passed away in November, and I had his wee casket sitting at my bedside.
“They’d actually taken the dog’s ashes out and gone through them. Even the man from the CID was shocked.”
Police have appealed for information from anyone who may have witnessed anything or have been offered such items for sale.
The woman added: “How could they do this to anybody? To take precious jewellery that belonged to loved ones who are no longer here and can never be replaced?”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact the PSNI in Lurgan on the non-emergency number 101.