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Forum News Service, Published April 16 2014

Two puppies stolen during pet store burglary

MITCHELL, S.D. - Two 8-week-old puppies were stolen during a break-in shortly before 2 a.m. Tuesday at a Mitchell pet store.

Ed Anderson, owner of Ed's Pet World, said the thief broke into the store through a back door not often used by employees and immediately headed for the cash register, which contained less than $50 in change, all of which was taken. Based on surveillance footage, the burglar appears to be male, Anderson said.

The two puppies, miniature poodles valued at $599 each, were taken right out of their enclosures during the break-in, which lasted about 45 minutes, Anderson said. A wire dog crate also was stolen.

An employee discovered the break-in shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday after noticing pieces of plastic on the floor near the cash register, which was smashed with a hammer, Anderson said.

The puppies had just arrived at the store Monday afternoon, Anderson said. He worries they won't be cared for properly, as all puppies go through an adjustment period after arriving at the store and employees typically give them special supplements and carefully watch the puppies' diets.

Anderson is offering a $150 reward for information leading to the dogs’ return.