4 puppies returned, 1 still missing from rescue group's stolen van


The fourth of five puppies that went missing when an animal rescue group's van was stolen has now been recovered, and the rescue group is urging the public to help return the last one safely.

Twin Cities-based RPAW (Rescued Pets Are Wonderful) said on its Facebook page Saturday evening that the fourth puppy – a male (pictured above) – was recovered in Cottage Grove.

"He has lost a good amount of weight but should be just fine," said spokeswoman Liz Gigler.

Gigler told the Star Tribune the pup was recovered Saturday after a man sold the dog at a gas station in Cottage Grove. The man said he “wanted money for a bus ticket,” Gigler said.

The person who purchased the puppy then contacted Gigler, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Just one of the five is still missing – a chocolate-colored male, pictured here.

The reward for his return has been increased to $750.

Three other puppies were recovered earlier this week. A female pup was found Friday in "rough shape" in Oakdale. Two others were returned to a gas station in Hugo earlier this week.

Gigler had put the puppies in the RPAW van in the early hours of Tuesday morning in Maplewood as she prepared to take them to a foster home, only to find the van stolen when she went outside.

Gigler said the pups were at risk because they're so young and need to be fed in a specific way for survival.

Anyone with information about the last puppy should email info@rpaw.org, call (763) 757-8204, or contact the group through its Facebook page.

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