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Social media comes to puppies' rescue

COLES COUNTY -- Two puppies are back in safe hands after being stolen.
COLES COUNTY -- Two puppies are back in safe hands after being stolen. The Coles County Animal Shelter called the sheriff's department when two Jack Russell terrier mixes went missing last week.

But now, thanks to people on social media Taking Action, the puppies are back and a man is arrested. They're the faces looking for a forever home.

"They were just little sweethearts."

But, under the right circumstances...

"Someone had actually dumped them out in our front drop-off pens and that was the weekend it was getting cold."

Luckily, shelter manager Julie Deters was heading to the shelter that night and found them; three puppies, just weeks old. Since then, she's been getting them ready for adoption.

"They had just moved down to the adoption side that day, on Tuesday."

But someone wasn't willing to wait any longer for the smallest of the three, a boy and a girl.

"I came in, went to go get them to weigh them to get them fixed and they were gone. They could have escaped because they were smaller. They could have gotten out of the pen."

A quick look around the shelter proved unsuccessful.

"My next step was to call the sheriff's department and put the word out on Facebook. The Facebook community went wild with it. We had 22 shares in less than ten minutes."

That post also led to the dogs' return.

"We had an anonymous phone call from somebody stating that she had seen one and had asked about the dog and the gentleman had said, 'Yeah, we just rescued them two days ago.' We rushed over there and, sure enough, he came walking down the stairs and there were the two little puppies."

Now Julie and her staff can worry about their main goal; finding these two a home.

"It's amazing how well Facebook works."

Julie thinks the suspect got into the shelter by climbing over the fence and into the cage. They're looking at getting a security system, maybe with cameras, to keep watch over all the animals.
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