Stolen pit bull safely returned

Published: July 7, 2008 | 7164th good news item since 2003

Thumbelina, a 9-week-old pit bull who was ripped from her owner’s arms, has been safely returned after a woman walking along the Greenway bike trail off of Paxton Street in Swatara Twp. found the dog abandoned on the Fourth of July.

Angie Shives’ cell phone rang at 3 a.m. Saturday. On the other end was a woman who claimed to have found the puppy, whose plight was reported in The Patriot- News on Friday.

“Someone showed her the article in the newspaper and told her they thought she had the puppy,” Shives said. “I asked her so many times, ‘Are you sure?'”

On Monday, Shives was lured to a home near 17th and Market streets in Harrisburg by two men claiming they wanted to adopt the puppy she’d advertised for sale, she said.

Shives, who runs an informal pit bull rescue out of her Chambersburg home, said she tried to do all the right things before selling the dog, including getting references and conducting a home visit. She was trying to start the visit when the younger of the men grabbed the dog and ran.

Shives notified police, deluged shelters with e-mail, posted flyers and contacted the media.

“I figure with the article in the paper, and then two news crews showing up, he got scared and dumped her,” Shives said. The woman who rescued Thumbelina agreed to meet Shives and her husband at a Swatara Twp. gas station at 4 a.m., where she handed back the puppy.

The woman refused a reward, Shives said.

“She gave me hope,” Shives said. “My trust was down to nothing, and now it’s restored a little.”

For now, Shives said she’s stopping her pit bull rescue effort.

Harrisburg police did not return a call for comment.

As for Thumbelina, she’s rejoined her brother, Mickey, and sister, Patches, in romping around the Shives home.

Published in Life
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