Penney Ellis

Documentary photography

My sister, Gillian, and her husband remortgaged their house to pay for burglar proofing to be fitted to all the windows. Bars fixed to rods that pass through the walls and are welded to metal plates, so they can’t be levered off, or pulled off the wall with a chain fixed to the back of a vehicle. Only the roof is vulnerable.

Palisade fencing was also put up around the house. A deterrent more than a defence. Things still disappear but it is difficult to lift much over an 8ft fence.

At the time of the incident, Mom and Dad were in the final stages of a new venture. Drawing down both their pensions, they paid off the mortgage on the plot and invested the remaining money in starting a kennelling business.

A few months after the incident, they took in their first residents. Mom and Dad seemed to be working together, with a sense of purpose. They took pride in the care they gave each dog. Their reputation spread and the small business started growing. Income was sporadic, but they were able to sustain themselves and continue living on the plot.