Taranaki family celebrates the safe return of stolen dog

A Taranaki family is celebrating the safe return of their stolen pet dog after taking their plea to national television last week.

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The family believes the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was taken for her valuable puppies which were due any day. Source: Seven Sharp

Pippa the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who was pregnant when stolen, was adopted when Margaret Joyce's sister Katie died three years ago.

"Pippa helped with our healing and she just has become a big part of the family," Joyce told Seven Sharp.

Camera footage captured outside the family's rural Omata property shows a car stopping at around 9.15pm last Monday night. Pippa had been outside at the time for a toilet stop when she suddenly vanished.

"We've had a really tough week since Easter Monday night when Pippa disappeared," she said.

"We initially thought she would be somewhere around the farm. We searched everywhere but then we looked at some camera footage and Monday night, we can see a car that stopped at the end of our driveway, looks like a door opened and Pippa's been missing since that point so we're all a bit flat."

The family offered a $2500 reward for Pippa's safe return and yesterday were contacted via text by someone claiming to have her.

Not long after Pippa was returned to their door.

Unfortunately, Pippa had already had her puppies which weren’t returned with the much-loved pet.

The family contacted the anonymous number to ask about the puppies but never heard back.