Graphic images show how dognappers "surgically remove" microchips from stolen pets by digging them out.

Pooches Topsy and Daisy had chunks gouged out of their flesh by "cruel" dog-nappers when they were taken on July 4 in Ireland.

Heartbreakingly, cocker spaniel Daisy's puppies are still missing.

A vet explained the dogs had been stolen in similar circumstances from their homes in Dublin and Enniscorthy, Wexford, but were reunited with their owners on Wednesday.

However, disturbing images reveal the gruesome fate they were subjected to at the hands of their abductors - who "surgically removed" their tracking devices.

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Pooch Topsy had chunks dug out of her to remove her microchips

The dogs had even been shaven to enable the thieves to dig in to get at the chips.

A photo of Daisy shows a gaping hole in the her back, exposing raw, pink flesh beneath.

Another of Topsy shows her fur matted with dried blood.

The dogs had been roughly shaved to facilitate the removal, leaving small nicks and cuts on their bodies.

The thieves even shaved the dogs to get at the chips
Cocker Spaniel Daisy was left with a huge wound

A third dog, Turvy, was also stolen along with Topsy, but was found unharmed in Mallow, County Cork, 147 miles from where she lived in Dublin.

Topsy and Daisy were taken to the vet immediately after they were recovered, who said the microchips were removed by someone who "knew what they were doing".

The distressing images were shared online this week by a Facebook page set up to locate Topsy and Turvy, both female golden cocker spaniels.

The horrifying posts showed how the tracking devices were dug out

The photos were shared with the caption: "The vet believes Topsy's skin was cut into about four weeks ago.

"So her microchip was cut out about 10 days after she was stolen from her home.

"The vet felt it was done by someone who 'knew what they were doing' - meaning this was not the first time someone carved into a dog's body to remove a microchip.

A gaping wound was left by the thieves' efforts to remove the microchip

"As shown in the images below, the same thing happened to the poor dog Daisy. Daisy's puppies are still missing- keep an eye out for them.

They added: "Why was a muzzle super glued to Daisy's face? Who are these people cutting dogs skin open? If they are reading this - please know that Ireland will no longer stand for this.

"We believe that due to the Covid-19 pandemic more people want companion pets. Criminals are capitalising on this, stealing family pets to meet the demand for dogs in Ireland and the UK."

The post has horrified social media users.

The gruesome images were shared in a warning post on Facebook

Mary Alexander wrote : "Why glue a muzzle to a wee dog's face? Unless it was going to be used in dog fighting and they were stopping it from howling in pain or trying to fight back. Evil people living among us."

Donna-Marie Williams said: "I'm devastated. I didn't realise this happened, how awful. I hope you find these babies very soon."

And Dave Wain Murphy added: "Cruel, evil b ** s.

"How can anyone do this to any animal? I hope these people who have been caught with stolen dogs at our ports and road blocks are prosecuted."