7-week-old puppy returned safely to Austin Pets Alive!

A 7-week-old puppy stolen from Austin Pets Alive was returned this afternoon.

AUSTIN - A 7-week-old puppy stolen from Austin Pets Alive! shelter in downtown Austin was returned Sunday afternoon. 

Wrangler, a Catahoula Cur, disappeared from her kennel at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

APA! said she was the first puppy stolen from the shelter in their six-year history, which led them to ask for the Austin Police Department's assistance to track her down.

APA! said her return unfolded over several hours Sunday morning. Staff said a man walked into the shelter claiming that a man handed him the puppy at the park because he, "didn't want the dog." The man also told APA! staff that he wasn't aware Wrangler was missing. He then walked out of the shelter before APA! could ask any follow-up questions, shelter officials said.

"Wrangler is doing okay. She had a very exciting few days. Right now, she has a little runny nose and she has a slight fever. But that could be from the temperatures outside or the car rides, so she's on a few medicines and she's being monitored to make sure she's doing alright," said APA! Director of Marketing Mary Heerwald.

Wrangler's health and age were major concerns for shelter officials when she was originally reported missing. 

"She hasn't been fully vaccinated, which means she's at really high risk for a number of diseases that 7-week-old puppies are susceptible to," Mary Heerwald with APA! said when the investigation first began. "That's our number one priority - to make sure she gets back to a safe place."

APA! said they owe it to the community for spreading the word and raising awareness, so that Wrangler could be back in their care.

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