Three puppies pounce on a CP24 camera on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010, after being found in an alleyway and reunited with their owners. (CP24/Matt Reid
The owners of three stolen English bulldog puppies had a joyous reunion with their pets Saturday night after the dogs were found in a north Toronto alleyway. A man walking behind a Mac's convenience store near Avenue Road and Lawrence Avenue heard the eight-week-old puppies whimpering and found them inside a gym bag. He rushed to the front of the store and asked the clerk inside to call police. The owners -- who reported the theft from their East York backyard on Friday -- hurried over and were reunited with their precious pooches at about 11 p.m. "We were actually asleep and we got the call," said Kevin, one of the owners, upon arriving at the Mac's on Saturday night. "We thought it was another reporter but then they said it was dispatch and ‘we have your dogs.' We knew the media would help." The dogs' owners say they're ecstatic to get them back, noting the pups' mother appeared to be pining for the poached pooches. The dogs were returned smelling of cigarette smoke and in need of a bath, they said. The puppies disappeared from the home, near Main Street and Danforth Avenue, at about 3 p.m. Friday. Anne Liu said she and the puppies were playing in the backyard when she went indoors for a few minutes and returned to find them gone. The dogs were bred for members of the family and are not going to be put up for sale. Anyone with information about who may be responsible for the dognapping is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS.