Skip to main content

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

Gov. Tim Walz and Scott Jensen.

Walz, Jensen clash over 'extreme' abortion views

The two clashed over the topic on Tuesday, following the Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 12.24.27 PM

Movie filming brings memorable day for MN teen with leukemia

Ayotzin Limon-Millard was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last year.

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 1.25.30 PM

Police trying to ID 'Playboy bandit' and 'no-pants raider' suspect

Police are calling the unidentified man "the Playboy bandit" and the "no-pants raider."

storm, severe, shelf cloud

Twin Cities under severe thunderstorm watch Tuesday afternoon

Large hail and damaging winds are the main threats.

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 9.27.30 AM

Famous Dave's family brings new BBQ biz to the south metro

The newest Twin Cities location is the first to offer wine slushies on the menu.

storm, shelf cloud, severe weather

Large hail possible with strong storms in eastern MN, WI

Watch the forecast update with meteorologist Sven Sundgaard.

Tony Evers, Wisconsin governor

WI governor vows to protect anyone charged with abortion crimes

“You think it’s bad now? The four Republicans that are going after me, one of them we’re going to beat, they are going to make it worse," Evers said.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, June 28

The state will stop providing daily updates and move to weekly editions beginning Thursday, June 30.


Sports anchor Hobie Artigue announces FOX9 departure

Artigue has spent the past seven years covering Minnesota sports.

hennepin county medical center

Boy, 7, dies after being pulled from pool in south Minneapolis

The boy was pulled from a pool at a home in south Minneapolis.

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 8.32.18 AM

Nashville man leaving wedding shot in the face in Minneapolis

He was leaving a wedding when gunfire erupted near the Stone Arch Bridge Saturday night.


Abogados Café in St. Paul is the first law-themed coffee shop in America

The new business is Minnesota's first Latina-owned coffee shop.


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 in downtown St. Paul.

Jasper, missing dog stolen with van in South St. Paul

South St. Paul police seeking van stolen with dog inside

The vehicle was stolen while parked in front of a local hotel.

Screen Shot 2021-09-30 at 7.35.37 AM

Puppy found suffering from multiple bullet wounds in Minnesota

Details in this story may be upsetting to some readers.

kua dog go fund me

Puppy in back of stolen Audi found, reunited with owner

The 4 1/2-month-old bullmastiff had been missing more than a week.

Stolen Chaska dog is found, reunited with its owners

Police are still investigating who took him.