A litter of tiny puppies were snatched from their mother in a raid on a Doncaster house sparking a police investigation.
Officers launched an operation to trace the seven six-week poochon dogs fearing their safety was in jeoprady after their heartbroken owners contacted them.
Three people have now admitted their involvement in a burglarly on a house in Doncaster.
Richard Thomas broke forced entry to the property in Cusworth Lane, Cusworth, and stole the puppies - a cross between a poodle and a bichon frise - while they were in a pen with their mother Meg.
Six days after the raid on May 28 Thomas, 27, of Ennerdale Road, Wheatley Hills, was arrested.
Tonya Newton, 25, of Almholme Road, Arksey, and Kerry Scase, 29, of Beech Street, South Elmsall were also arrsted.
The puppies were recovered from the homes of the two women.
All three have now appeared at Sheffield Crown Court charged in connection with the theft.
Thomas pleaded guilty to burglarly, while Newton and Scase both admitted handling stolen goods.
Speaking after the hearing Det Con Andy Hotchkiss, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “All seven of the puppies recovered well from their ordeal, as there were concerns at the time for their wellbeing as they were too young to be away from their mother.
“The owners of the puppies suffered unnecessary distress and heartache when they were stolen.
“I am pleased all three have pleaded guilty and have taken responsibility for their actions.”
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “Dog theft of any kind is upsetting. In this case it is worrying to hear these puppies were taken from their mother at such a young age. Puppies should be at least eight weeks old and should have received their first vaccinations before they leave their mother.”
Thomas, Newton and Scase have all been bailed. They are due to be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court at the end of next month.