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Dogs Ruckus and Vixen gave the game away when their owner was pulled over for speeding, nine hours into a dash for freedom.
Now Richmond woman Milli Pritchard will face charges for receiving stolen property as well as charges she already faced under the Dog Control Act, but she says it was worth it.
The dogs had been impounded in Nelson for allegedly biting a jogger but were broken out from the city council pound by intruders in March.
Pritchard, 21, said that she went outside her Richmond property on Thursday and found the dogs there. Fearing for their safety, she attempted to drive them up to a friend's house in Auckland.
After nine hours of driving on Friday, she was pulled over for overtaking vehicles 20 minutes outside of Auckland and her dogs were confiscated.
Pritchard's vehicle was allegedly travelling at 119kmh.
The police officer who stopped her recognised the two dogs from a story on Stuff, a spokesman said.
Pritchard denied the dogs were Ruckus and Vixen, so the officer used his mobile device to take a photo of them and sent it to Nelson City Council, which confirmed their identity.
Waikato police confirmed yesterday that they had arrested a 20-year-old female from Nelson after finding the dogs in her car.
Ruckus and Vixem were the only dogs taken among 30 being held at the pound in the March heist. Pritchard continues to deny involvement in the break-in.
"I was trying to take them away from Nelson so they didn't get put back in the pound."
She had no idea who could have committed the robbery but it was "obviously" someone who sympathised with her and her love of her dogs, she said.
After weeks in the pound, the dogs were so happy to be with her, she said.
She knew the situation did not put her in a good light but she was willing to go to prison if it meant her dogs were in a good place and in a good condition.
"I would sacrifice myself for those dogs. Even if it means I go to jail. They're my family, they're my kids. I would do anything to protect them."
She hoped the dogs would stay in Waikato rather than Nelson, she said.
- The Nelson Mail