Rabbits at a school in Brampton were stolen.

William Howard School in Brampton have been keeping rabbits for the children and staff, and they were unfortunately stolen by an unknown person.

The rabbits were gifted for the school to keep, and were kept safely in their hutches outside, where pupils were able to visit them and greet them.

Mrs. Liz Brereton, an English teacher at the school, spoke of the rabbits: "Before half term, we were given rabbits, and also some guinea pigs, as a donation and the kids got to meet them.

"My husband and I usually go and feed them at 8:00am.

"The rabbits were gone, the hutch was open but the guinea pigs were were still there."

The rabbits, donated by a member of staff who is a member of a charity called Open Spaces Society.

Open Spaces Society is Britain's oldest conservation charity and they say they depend on public donations to keep fighting for village greens, commons and footpaths for everyone to enjoy.

However, very quickly after notifying people in a message about the stolen rabbits, they were thankfully returned, one by one.

Liz said: "It's really good news"

"The police were informed, and thankfully the rabbits were returned within twenty-four hours.

"It looks as if they have been deliberately taken, because they were in their hutches which are always locked wen they are in there to keep them safe, but I do not know who stole them."

"Thanks to the power of social media as well as all of the outstanding help of the Community Police and all fo the Community Support Officers who helped as well, these two rabbits were happily returned within twenty-four hours, so all is well"

While the people, person or motive behind the theft is not known, it has been reported that because of the coronavirus lockdown, pet thefts are worse than before.

According to DogsTrust, the price for five of the UK’s most sought after breeds grew significantly during the first lockdown with the price of some breeds rising by as much as 89%.

Google searches for ‘buy a puppy’ increased by 166% in the months between March and August following the start of lockdown last year.

Recent police investigations into dog theft have also resulted in numerous raids and arrests on suspicion of theft and animal cruelty.

The same is true for the theft of cats.

Data from the police shows the number of cats being taken has risen almost threefold in five years, with a notable 12.3% in the last year.

The secondary pandemic of pet thefts could therefore be potentially universal of all pets who are being stolen as people have been forced to isolate.