Skip to main content

Van stolen from animal rescue charity is found – but 5 puppies are still missing


The van stolen from a Twin Cities animal rescue nonprofit has been recovered – but the five pit bull puppies inside are missing.

RPAW (Rescued Pets Are Wonderful) has provided an update to the van theft from Maplewood in the early hours of Tuesday, saying on its Facebook page its Dodge Caravan has been found in St. Paul.

Unfortunately, the van was completely emptied, including the five, five-week-old pit bull puppies that had been put in the van ahead of being taken to a foster home.

"We still have all the hope in the world we will find these pups but we need all the continued support," the Facebook post says. "The hundreds of dollars of equipment and donation money etc. can be replaced. The lives of those pups cannot."

Further posts by RPAW reveal the van was recovered on the 2300 block of Reaney Street in St. Paul, and that fingerprints were taken from it.

RPAW director Liz Gigler had put the dogs into the van as she was preparing to take them to a foster home on Tuesday morning, but when she looked out her window at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, the van was gone.

After it was taken, the thieves are believed to have used credit cards in the van to buy gas at three stations in the St. Paul area, before it was found Tuesday night.

"We got a call from a St. Paul resident stating she thought the rescue van was in front of her house," Gigler told FOX 9. "We drove over and it sure was. No plates, the logos were scratched off, and everything possible was removed on the inside."

RPAW is asking people to keep an eye out on Craigslist for any listing of the puppies, and anyone with information as to their whereabouts to call police or email

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 7.15.18 AM

Large groups of thieves target 2 Twin Cities Best Buys on Black Friday

It bears similarities to the flash-mob style thefts seen recently in California.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' winning streak snapped at five games

The Wolves' bid for their longest winning streak since 2014 came up short.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Teen arrested over fatal shooting of 5-year-old boy in Brooklyn Park

Police say the teen was filming a social media video while handling a gun.

Joe Biden

President Biden coming to Minnesota to promote Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Tuesday's trip follows passage of the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.

Kirill Kaprizov

Kaprizov gets into the holiday spirit to rout Jets

Kirill Kaprizov's four points led the Wild to a 7-1 victory.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Cure to Vikings' disrupted season lies in an explosive passing game

The Vikings go to San Francisco knowing that a win would be a huge boost to their playoff hopes.

unsplash football helmet ground

Judge upholds star QBs suspension for state championship game

Sam Backer, of Chatfield Senior High, won't be allowed to play in Friday's title game.

Screen Shot 2021-11-25 at 7.53.37 AM

Another 5,000 lbs. of goldfish removed from Carver County lakes

It all likely stemmed from people dumping their pets into local waters a few years ago.

Rosaleia Shelton

Appeal to find 19-year-old missing from Bloomington

The teen left her home on Monday afternoon.

hospital, emergency room

Deaths of twin fetuses after woman was shot ruled a double homicide

The woman was shot in the abdomen in mid-September.