DOYLESTOWN, Ohio -- Nicholas Petit says he was awakened early Christmas morning when his dogs started barking. He investigated and found nothing out of place so he went back to bed.
A few minutes later the dogs started barking again so. Figuring they needed to go out, he got back up again.
This time he was met by an armed intruder who started pistol-whipping him.
"One of the assailants was behind a wall and pistol whipped me in the face about five times six times, I fell to the ground," said Petit.
He says there were two other armed men in the house.
They started demanding money and jewelry also kicking him in the back while he was on the floor.
"They assaulted me then they had a gun to both Megan, which is my girlfriend, and my head and like I said they are barking out orders, where's the money at, we know you have money, I said I don't know who you think I am but I don't have money, a couple thousand dollars in the bank but I don't have a bunch of cash in my house," said Petit.
Unable to get what they wanted Petit says one of the men suggested they take his four Cane Corso puppies, then forced his girlfriend and him into a crawl space before leaving with the pups.
Petit says the three week old puppies were still nursing, and without their mother, they might not survive.
"They were still on my dog Lexis, they were still milking with her so we were just getting ready to give them puppy chow next week when they were four weeks old, thats' when you start getting them off milking," said Petit.
Petit believes the home invasion was random.
Investigators with the Wayne County Sheriff's office believe the intruders might have been there only to get the puppies.
"I believe this was not a random act. I believe the offenders in this case went to the home knowing the puppies were there and had every intention of leaving the home with the puppies in tow, the fact that they asked for money or valuables while they were there would just be something above and beyond their main reason for being there," said Wayne County Captain Doug Hunter.
The Wayne County Sheriff's Office says someone knows who now has four young Cane Corso puppies they didn't have before Christmas.
They hope the dogs can be returned unharmed.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Wayne County Sheriff's Office at 330-287-5758.