Stolen NM puppy returned to 4-year-old owner

From the department of "thank heaven for small favors": a stolen-puppy story got a happy ending late last week in Albuquerque, NM. Albuquerque PD said that two women "snatched" Olivia Lippert's puppy, Pip (say that five times fast), right out of her arms last Tuesday. Olivia was apparently standing out in front of her house when the pooch-snatching pair pulled up in a car and "asked to see the dog."

But Pip was back home by Thursday, according to the Albuquerque Journal, which reported yesterday that a Good Samaritan had bought the poodle back, and returned him to the Lippert household safe and sound.

The day after the Pip-napping, the heartbroken family had printed and pasted up flyers about Pip, as well as posting the news on several websites. A local woman who'd seen the notices happened to spot a pair of young women ("who could have been teenagers") hawking a toy-poodle puppy at a McDonald's not far from the Lippert home. The woman called Chris Lippert, Olivia's dad, to ask if she could buy the pup and bring him back for reimbursement later. Chris authorized the purchase, and when Pip arrived, the family checked to make sure the dog in question had Pip's distinctive bent tail. Sure enough, he did. (The Lipperts have since deployed tags and a microchip to keep this from happening again.)

VIDEO: Congressional dogs and their hair-raising adventures on the Hill

How did it happen in the first place? Olivia's brother Logan, who was playing outside with Pip and his sister on March 13, said that a light-gold car pulled up to them, and a young woman got out and asked to pet the dog. Logan knows not to talk to strangers, and though Olivia let the woman pat Pip, her older sibling interceded when the woman asked if she could "show Pip to her friend in the car." Unfortunately, the black-market poodle-teer grabbed the dog and ran off anyway, and the car sped away. Olivia ran inside to tell her mom, Amanda…and the rest is history.

…Almost. The Lipperts can't thank their eagle-eyed angel enough for spotting Pip and returning him – "it’s not often you see people take that extra step anymore these days," Chris noted – but police haven't linked the women selling the dog to the women who snatched him initially. APD does believe, however, that the puppy-snaggers may be the same pair who stole a teenager's iPhone in a nearby park that same day.

Got any more info on the Pip heist? How about a Good Pet-maritan story of your own? We'll update this story when any bulletins come in; in the meantime, tell us YOUR stories in the comments.

Copyright © 2012 Yahoo Inc.

Elsewhere on Shine Pets:
Skunk 1, your pet 0: 6 tips to even the score
A day with a New York City dog-walker
Yoda, World's Ugliest Dog, dies at age 15