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Reunited thanks to community

Puppy returned after brazen dognap

EMMA WHITTAKER
Last updated 05:00 17/01/2014
Dog Nap
BACK HOME: Tabitha May took to Facebook to get her puppy Misty-Dae back after she was taken from outside a supermarket.

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The owner of a 9-week-old puppy snatched from outside a Grey Lynn supermarket is grateful to the community for helping her get her dog back.

Security footage shows the dog was taken just seconds after Tabitha May tied up her puppy Misty-Dae outside the supermarket on January 5.

The Grey Lynn resident had dashed in to buy milk and dog food while out on a walk.

"I knew she'd been taken straight away. It happened too quickly - if she had just got off her lead she would have been running around in the area. I was running around like a headless chicken."

Miss May and her partner bought the rottweiler huntaway cross on December 24.

"We got her on Christmas Eve so we could have a little Christmas baby."

Police were limited in what they could do to find the puppy without a description of the thief.

So Miss May took to Facebook and within 12 hours a message she posted asking for information was shared by another 150 people.

A couple came forward and said they'd been patting the dog outside the store. A man and a younger boy then walked out of the store, said the dog was theirs, and walked off with it.

Miss May and police combed through CCTV footage to find the suspects. While police worked behind the scenes she posted images of the suspects on Facebook.

Before long, an anonymous caller arranged to leave the dog at a nearby vet clinic.

Miss May doubts she would have gotten Misty-Dae back without the help of the community.

"I got to see how much Aucklanders help each other out. It's so awesome to get my dog back."

Ponsonby community policing team Sergeant Geoff Medland credits Miss May for making her own inquiries and is urging other dog owners to take note of the incident.

"It's a timely reminder that if you are going to tie your dog up outside that you make sure you can see it at all times."

A 24-year-old man has been remanded in custody after appearing in the Auckland District Court on January 10. He is facing two charges of theft. The second charge relates to an alleged shoplifting incident at the supermarket on the day Misty-Dae went missing.

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