Barbed-wire fences were unable to stop dog thieves taking half-a-dozen puppies from the SPCA in Turangi overnight.
The puppies were between six and 12 weeks old, and a mix of breeds - a mastiff-shepherd cross, three heading bull terrier crosses, a huntaway and a foxy cross.
The puppies had become family to staff, and the thieves had to go great lengths to steal them away.
Ellie, a 10-week-old heading-bull terrier cross (SPCA Turangi/Facebook)
"They had to go over quite a few fences to remove all these puppies. Some of the puppies were quite large - the three girls were probably about 7kg," says SPCA Turangi manager Stacey Lewis.
"There would have needed to be probably at least three or four people to take them away."
They were being kept in an outdoor kennel area, protected by multiple barbed-wire fences.
"We really care for the animals that come into our care, and we want to find them the best homes possible," says Ms Lewis.
Mischief, a 10-week-old heading-bull terrier cross (SPCA Turangi/Facebook)
She says Turangi is a small town, and someone must know who the thieves are.
An amnesty cage has been left next to the SPCA and local pound, and she promises there will be no questions asked if the dogs are returned.
"We want to give them a really good chance, we really want them back."
Nico, a 12-week-old mastiff-shepherd cross (SPCA Turangi/Facebook)
Anyone with information is urged to call the SPCA on 027 569 8287 or report what they know to the police.