David Goddard, 65, is all but housebound after a battle with throat cancer left him on oxygen and suffering from high blood pressure and emphysema - a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in which the air sacs in the lungs are weakened and damaged.
David’s mobility scooter was his last lifeline enabling him to get out of the house, but it was also a blessing for ten-year-old mini Jack Russell Ersa, who was hurt three years ago when fireworks caused her so much distress she twisted her back and lost control of her hind legs.
Since then Ersa, like David, struggled to get around - but the second-hand mobility scooter David bought for £500 gave the pair a way to get out to the park and on day trips away, Ersa sitting in the basket while David drove.
But when David woke last Wednesday morning, he went into the garage to find the scooter - along with power tools costing hundreds of pounds - was missing.
“I was in shock,” said David, of Bleak Avenue, Shafton. “My mind’s still all over the place.
“I’m out of pocket but that’s not the issue.
“I can’t walk the dogs any more, but the scooter let me get out and about and have a few minutes in the park then go back home.
“It’s not for me, it’s for Ersa. I’ve had quite a tough time but you’ve got to make the best of what you’ve got.
“The tools will be long gone but I’m not bothered about them. I just want the scooter back.”
David, who has to be on a constant supply of oxygen, said Ersa became depressed after her injury - but since he got the scooter she has completely changed, and now gets excited when she knows she’s going out on a ride.
He said Ersa sits in the basket on the front of the scooter like a ‘little old woman’.
“The only thing missing is the royal wave,” he added.
And Ersa, along with David and his partner’s two rescue dogs Pebbles and Alfie, has given David - who said he had been given weeks to live by a doctor in 2017 - a new lease of life.
“The vet wanted to put her to sleep after her accident, but I said no chance,” said David. “If I’d have been a dog they’d have put me to sleep two years ago.”
South Yorkshire Police confirmed it is investigating the incident.
A spokesman said: “We received reports around 7am on Wednesday May 29, of a burglary at a property on Bleak Avenue, Shafton, Barnsley.
“It is thought the offenders have broken into the garage of the property, taking electrical tools and a mobility scooter.
“Police are continuing with enquiries, anybody with information should contact police on 101 quoting incident number 120 of the May 29.”