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Three kidnapped puppies recovered; $7,500 reward up for remaining four

Link, one of seven puppies that were kidnapped in D.C., was reunited with his mother and two siblings. Rescue officials are asking for the public's help to find the rest. (Humane Rescue Alliance)

A 5-week-old puppy was reunited with his mother and two siblings on Saturday, about two weeks after being kidnapped in the District, officials with a D.C. humane rescue group said.

The Humane Rescue Alliance is still looking for four of the puppy’s siblings, who were also separated from their mother in late August at the “extremely vulnerable age of 3½ weeks.” Officials believe the pups were sold or given to buyers or adopters who did not know they had been stolen.

Link was the third pup to turn up and was reunited with his mother, Godiva, at a foster home. Officials said a resident who had bought him in without knowing Link was stolen returned the pup.

“We are super fortunate that we had some good Samaritans come forward, who have seen the media attention and recognize that they unknowingly came into possession of these puppies and wanted to do the right thing,” said Chris Schindler, vice president of field services at the Humane Rescue Alliance. “We hope that the other four will turn up in a similar way.”

Schindler said Link will be returned to the family that turned him in Saturday once he gets older and strong enough to be away from Godiva and his littermates.

Another pup named Aries was returned Thursday morning by a woman who said she had gotten it from someone at a gas station. The woman had seen the new reports about the missing dogs. Last weekend, officials obtained a search warrant for a home in the 4800 block of North Capitol Street NE where they thought the puppies could be. They found only one of the seven, named Glitter.

Puppies kidnapped in D.C.: $7,500 reward if you help find them

Rescue officials said they hope for the safe return of the remaining four puppies, “who need their mother, siblings and follow up veterinary care.” The group is offering a reward of up to $7,500 for information that leads to the recovery of the puppies.

“While we take a sigh of relief each time one of Godiva’s puppies is brought in, we’re worried sick over the four puppies who are still missing and who desperately need to be with their mother during this critical developmental period,” the group said in a statement.

Schindler said the rescue group is also continuing its investigation into how the seven puppies went missing from a foster home in late August. He declined to provide more details about the investigation, including how much the puppies were being sold for.

The case dates to mid-July, when Godiva was picked up by the Humane Rescue Alliance in Northwest D.C. She was malnourished and pregnant, and her rescuers were worried about her health. But with good care, she successfully bore seven puppies in early August.

Godiva is 1 year old and believed to be a Labrador mix. She and her puppies were transferred to a foster home. But in late August, rescue officials said, they got a call about a dog that had been abandoned and tied to a pole on Crittenden Street NE. That dog was Godiva, and the pups were nowhere to be found.

The Humane Rescue Alliance said the pups “need to be with their mothers and littermates until they are 8 to 10 weeks old” and noted that the kidnapped dogs are in need of veterinary care.

Anyone who was given or bought one of the puppies without realizing it was kidnapped will not be held liable, officials said. Tips can be reported anonymously, officials said. Anyone with information on the puppies’ whereabouts is asked to call rescue officials at 202-723-5730.