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Stolen Fairfield puppy returned safe after a ruff 24 hours

Posted: 8:56 PM, Apr 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-13 00:07:51-04

FAIRFIELD, Ohio — Facebook commenters helped ensure a puppy stolen from a pet shop Thursday evening was safely returned by the same time Friday, Fairfield police said.

Surveillance cameras recorded a woman smuggling the little furball, a Maltese-Yorkshire terrier mix with a $3,200 price tag, out of Petland on Dixie Highway.

“We are very concerned about the wellbeing of our puppy,” the shop wrote on Facebook alongside screenshots of the video. “He is very small and without proper veterinarian care, his health could be jeopardized.”

The post galvanized the internet, so often a source of bewilderment, misery and Jake Paul videos, into using its powers for good and tracking down the suspect. Commenters passed information on to Officer Tom Wolf, who found the puppy at the home of the suspect's father. The woman herself had not been located by Friday night.

“It’s a shame,” Officer Doug Day said. “Obviously she wanted him for a reason. Just not the way to go about doing it. There’s plenty of other dogs out there if she can’t afford to buy one. We find dogs — unfortunately every week we’re trying to find a home for somebody."

Petland’s workers were relieved to see the animal returned safely, sales manager Brittany Lutterbie said.

“They walked in, and they’re like, ‘Oh my god, he’s back,’” she said. “Everybody was so excited to have him back. We’glad he’s back and healthy.”