Dog stolen from rescue group returned

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – There was some unexpected good news for a local animal rescue group. A puppy boldly stolen from a Short Pump adoption event has been returned more than three months later. The search spanned Henrico, Richmond and all the way to Charlottesville.

When then two month old "Aimee" was stolen back in May, a Henrico Animal Control officer told NBC12 the odds of ever seeing the puppy again were slim to none. Well, it appears luck was on BARK's side.

In three months, the adorable beagle has changed. She is now almost triple the size of her picture on the missing posters we showed you in May, her face is darker and her spots have appeared. Vickie Fahed with BARK, the animal rescue group from which Aimee was stolen, said she never thought she'd see the puppy at this age.

"That we would never get Aimee back, somehow she would slip through the police's fingers," she feared.

Police are not releasing many details before the case goes to court in September, but Fahed gave NBC12 a rundown of what she knows. Henrico Animal Control learned two VCU students took Aimee and another dog from an event outside the Short Pump PetSmart. One of the girls is from Charlottesville, where she brought the puppy for the summer. Animal protection officers were able to get the family to return the dog to the county shelter.

"The phone call came," Fahed recalled. "We've been waiting for three months. Aimee's back!  To get her back is just like the best thing in the world."

That student is now facing misdemeanor charges.

"To go through the whole summer knowing that you have taken this dog and you're living with your family," Fahed explained. "That's what bothers me the most."

Volunteers have revisited the day Aimee and Mutt were taken time and time again and are now rethinking their protocols.

"It was a learning experience and we've realized we have to be more watchful for our puppies because the puppies are the ones that probably could be taken because they are so little," Fahed said.

We're told Mutt, the other stolen puppy has been tracked to Northern Virginia. After the unexpected outcome with Aimee, BARK volunteers are hoping for another lucky break.

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