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Thieves steal animal rescue van with 5 pitbull puppies inside

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A nonprofit animal rescue group is looking for one of its vans that has been stolen – along with five pitbull puppies who were inside.

Twin Cities-based RPAW (Rescued Pets Are Wonderful) issued an appeal on its Facebook page after its silver Dodge Caravan was stolen from a location in the Maplewood area Monday night.

If the loss of the van wasn't bad enough, inside at the time were five, five-week-old pitbull puppies, which are pictured above.

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"The RPAW van was stolen last night with a lot of supplies but must importantly 5.5 week old pitty babies!" the group's Facebook appeal said. "The police are on their way but we need everyone to keep their eyes/ears open to get that babies back!"

According to FOX 9, the puppies were in the van as they were about to be transported to a new foster home, with RPAW director Liz Gigler saying: "I started the group in 2004 and nothing like this has ever happened. Those pups need special care they are only 5 weeks old."

"I could care less that my wallet was in there, or that $200 or so in donations was taken, the puppies' safety is all that matters," she told the news station.

KARE 11 reports that Gigler looked outside at 5 a.m. to discover the van was gone. There were also credit cards, cash and medical records in the van along with the puppies, which are microchipped so can be traced if they're sold.

One of the credit cards was used to fill up the vehicle in North St. Paul, KARE 11 notes.

According to its website, RPAW is a no-kill, volunteer animal rescue group that rescues cats and dogs across the metro area, taking them in if they are at risk of euthanasia from public shelters, are given up by their owners, or they're in danger of abuse.

If anyone sees the van or the puppies, call your local police department, or email

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