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Puppies stolen from Petland Lakeland recovered, store donates puppy


(Lakeland, FL, February 16, 2011) – Thieves broke into the Petland store in Lakeland, Florida the evening of February 9th. The men were able to make off with three puppies, a Chihuahua, Basset Hound and Pug. Area detectives were able to track the thieves by their license plate but not before they were able to dump the puppies in an Orlando area subdivision.

Aysia Ciliberti was walking with her friend when they noticed the three puppies roaming together in the neighborhood. Aysia instructed her friend to go get her older sisters, Brittany and Tiffany, and immediately started caring for the puppies. “We waited for awhile outside to see if anyone was looking for them,” recalls Aysia. But, when no one came looking for the puppies, the sisters took them into their home to protect them from passing traffic and called local authorities.

Local detectives confirmed that the puppies were those stolen from the Petland store in the Lakeland Square Shopping center and returned them to store manager, Karl Rich. After being looked over by the veterinarian, the puppies were found to be in good condition despite their big adventure, thanks to the Ciliberti family.

While the girls were busy with media interviews Friday afternoon, Petland General Manager, Karl Rich, and local detectives showed up with a surprise for the girls. In an effort to show their appreciation, Petland Lakeland presented the family with the fawn Pug that they helped safely recover. The new addition is especially uplifting for the family who remembers their former family pet, Honey the Pug, with whom the family had to part with four years ago when Tiffany was diagnosed with rare brain tumors.

“We cannot thank the Ciliberti family enough for helping to bring our furbabies back to us safely. We hope they enjoy a lifetime of companionship with their new Pug”, says Rich.