Puppy stolen from Akl burger shop reunited with owner after three months

From Checkpoint, 5:53 pm on 18 July 2018

An Auckland dog owner has been reunited with her cavoodle, who was stolen from outside a Burger Fuel nearly three months ago.

Police released CCTV footage of the theft in April showed a person walking up to Bowie outside the burger shop in New Lynn, and patting the dog before returning minutes later to unclip her leash and carry her away.

“She knew straightaway who we were,” owner Jo Hodge says. 

She says they’ve had many sightings in the three months since she went missing, knocked on many doors and staked out fish and chip shops. 

She finally got a call from the Wiri animal shelter, who had picked Bowie up after she’d followed a family home in Manurewa. 

“I headed straight out there, and phoned my husband on the way saying the pound is saying they’ve got Bowie and he said we’re not going to tell the kids until we’re absolutely sure. 

“It was fantastic, she looked enormous when we picked her up because, you know, she’s been growing for the last three months.

“She’s obviously very hairy but she’s getting a groom soon.

Kidnapped dog Bowie reunited with owner Jo Hodge after 3 months

Kidnapped dog Bowie reunited with owner Jo Hodge after 3 months Photo: Auckland Council

“We know that she’s been looked after because she’s not completely matted and she’s still got some meat on her bones … she’s had a little trim around her face, so she’s been with somebody who looked after her, which we’re really thankful for.”

She says the journey home was a relief.

“Just as I was driving down the street, before we turned on to our street she suddenly recognised where she was. 

“She was sitting on my lap the whole way home, she wouldn’t sit on the passenger seat, then she suddenly started wagging her whole body and came in the door and she was super excited. 

Jo says she doesn’t feel any animosity towards the thief. 

“We’d like to know why she did it ... it’s caused us a lot of heartache for the last three months. 

“I don’t feel anger towards her, I just want to know why she did it.”