Puppy stolen from animal orphanage found safe inside Pet Smart bathroom

Posted: Updated:

A 12-week-old puppy stolen from an animal orphanage in Camden County has been found safe.

The Voorhees Animal Orphanage says Phoenix was found in a nearby Pet Smart's bathroom on Sunday. Posting on its Facebook page, the orphanage says Phoenix is safe and healthy.

The shelter says the puppy was snatched on Saturday, one day after it had been spayed.

"One of our workers came by because someone wanted to see the dog in the kennel next to Phoenix and she realized Phoenix wasn't there…so panic set in and the staff went running around the backside of the building,” says marketing manager Jennifer Bailey.

Bailey says that after they realized Phoenix was missing, they started asking everyone in the parking lot if they saw anything suspicious.

“And yes, someone saw a tall thin blonde woman with a hoodie carrying a puppy that got in a white car and took off erratically,” Bailey says.

The orphanage posted something about the theft on Facebook, a post that was shared thousands of times. About 24 hours later, they received a call from the Pet Smart in West Berlin.

User: Voorhees Animal Orphanage To: link

"One of the customers went into the bathroom and said, ‘There's a puppy in here.’ They ran in and one of their employees recognized [Phoenix] and they called us right away and it's her,” says Bailey.

Phoenix was unharmed. The orphanage says it is grateful Phoenix's abductor took her to a warm and safe place where she would be found.

The dog was returned to her foster family and officially adopted Monday.

"She's going to be mine and I will make it up for her for the rest of her life for what happened,” says new owner Michelle Tedeschi.

The shelter did not have cameras set up at the time. Voorhees police are investigating.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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