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

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

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