Stolen 'Poppy the puppy' found in Minnesota, reunited with family in SD

She was found on the streets almost 300 miles from home.

Her name is Poppy, and she was found roaming the streets of Minneapolis this month.

But this German shepherd pup was no stray – she had been stolen from a family nearly 300 miles away in Aberdeen, South Dakota. 

And as it turns out, Poppy's theft came at the worst possible time for that family.

They happened to be away from their house when burglars broke in late last month, because the father, Aberdeen Police Officer Briston Bruce, was in the hospital recovering from brain cancer surgery, according to a release from Eden Prairie police.

A Facebook update from the Bruces captures the understandable shock and anger they felt following the break-in:

The burglars also stole some electronic devices.

According to the release, Aberdeen police had reason to believe one of the suspects had "an Eden Prairie connection," so they reached out to local cops.

That's when Eden Prairie Detective Carter Staaf stepped in. His investigation led him to find out that the 4-month-old dog had been "let loose" in Minneapolis, so his wife "immediately began scouring missing/found pet websites."

And she turned up what appeared to be a match.

The pup had been taken in by two south Minneapolis neighbors who'd found her wandering the city. Though she apparently hadn't had an identification chip implanted, Staaf was eventually able to confirm it was Poppy with the help of Officer Bruce and the Aberdeen PD, the release says.

She was reunited with her family over the weekend. 

As for the people suspected of stealing her – and the circumstances surrounding the theft – authorities aren't saying much, other than the fact that one person has been arrested. 

An investigation is still underway. 

By the way, the Bruce family is asking the community for help dealing with their expenses during Bruce's cancer treatments. You can make a donation right here.

Pet theft

As many as 2 million pets are stolen in the U.S. each year, according to Petfinder.

The website says many of the stolen dogs (who are often snatched out of parked cars) end up being sold to research laboratories and so-called puppy mills, while others become fighters or "bait dogs" in underground dog-fighting rings.

Here's some steps you can take to prevent this from happening to your pet. 

Next Up

Bryan Ellinger

Charges: Trail of Terror supervisor sexually assaulted 3 teenage employees

Bryan Ellinger was arrested in January accused of raping a 15-year-old employee. Two more women have come forward accusing him of sexually assaulted them as teens.

Screen Shot 2021-03-05 at 8.52.53 AM

Donations flood in for N. Minneapolis teen who penned Star Tribune column

Marcus Hunter gained recognition for writing about his experience as a Black teen in North Minneapolis following the police killing of George Floyd.

Screen Shot 2021-03-05 at 7.49.11 AM

Fatal crash victim identified as newlywed from Buffalo

Whitney Nelson died after a two-vehicle crash near Glencoe Tuesday.

vaccine, covid

Roy Wilkins Auditorium to become MN's 5th large-scale vaccination site

Gov. Tim Walz is holding a media call Friday amid the release of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.


Police searching for driver after fatal hit-and-run in Minneapolis

Police say the driver of a cream or white SUV hit a man in the road and then fled.

bloomington police incident

BREAKING: Area of Bloomington shut down, police have building surrounded

Portions of Lyndale Avenue and American Boulevard are closed.

police lights

Attempted luring of 14-year-old girl reported in West St. Paul

The suspect is described as a white man in his 40s.

Screen Shot 2021-03-04 at 9.19.48 PM

Worker, 18, suffers serious electric shock at Vikings apartments site

The worker was reportedly in a critical condition Thursday.


As golf season approaches, book your round now at Dacotah Ridge GC

The stunning course is designed by world-renowned architect Rees Jones.

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett's group out of potential Timberwolves sale

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said that Garnett's group was not one of "more than 10" to buy the team.


Full production winery set to open in Minneapolis this month

The couple behind Schram Vineyards Winery and Brewery is opening AxeBridge Wine Company in Minneapolis' North Loop neighborhood.


Zoey, a puppy stolen during a Minnetonka burglary.

Family thanks community after stolen puppy returned home

She was taken during a break-in in Minnetonka last Tuesday.

Family reunited with dogs stolen in St. Paul

They were in a van that was stolen from downtown.

Stolen Chaska dog is found, reunited with its owners

Police are still investigating who took him.

eden the dog

Dog lost for 12 days in Boundary Waters is found safe, will be reunited with family

Her owners live in the state of Virginia and had to leave the BWCAW three days after their beloved dog went missing.

Puppy goes to Target, Internet goes nuts

Is this an adorable candid or blatant disrespect?