Pound heist dogs recovered

SASHA BORISSENKO
Last updated 05:00 19/05/2014
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PET PROBLEMS: Milli Pritchard with her dogs, Vixen and Ruckus.
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Mark Cornell
ON THE RUN: Pound escapers Vixen and Ruckus.

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Dog owner Milli Pritchard was pulled over by police and her two dogs, Ruckus and Vixen - which went missing in a heist from the Nelson pound this month - were found in her vehicle near Auckland.

Pritchard, 21, said this morning that she went outside her Richmond property on Thursday and found the dogs there. Fearing for their safety, she had been attempting to drive them up to a friend's house in Auckland.

After nine hours of driving, she was pulled over for overtaking vehicles 20 minutes outside of Auckland and her dogs were confiscated.

She would likely be charged for possessing stolen property but it was worth it, she said.

The dogs - a rottweiler called Vixen and an American pit bull mastiff cross called Ruckus - were taken from the council pound by intruders who cut through a security fence and lock on May 5. They were the only dogs taken among 30 being held at the pound. Pritchard continues to deny involvement in the break-in.

The dogs were impounded for allegedly biting a jogger on the Maitai walkway.

"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 told the Mail today.

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.

Police could not confirm whether she would face charges related to the dogs.

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- The Nelson Mail

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