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Foster dog safely found after being stolen in Phoenix

Rosie was stolen alongside the car that a team of volunteers was using to take her from northern California to her new home in Tucson.

TUCSON, Ariz. — Sunday was quite an ordeal for some folks trying to help save a dog from being put down at a shelter.

A volunteer was bringing the dog from California to a family in Tucson, but that plan took a turn when the car the volunteer was driving was stolen with the dog inside at a home in Phoenix.

Hilary O'Kelley has been a volunteer animal rescue transporter for 13 years. She recalled the moment she saw her car and the dog she was helping rescue from a shelter get stolen.

"I went into the house, locked the door and came back out and my car was being stolen as I was walking out in the carport with Rosie in the car. It was just seconds and Rosie's gone," O'Kelley said.

Credit: Melanie Epstein
Photo of Rosie taken before she was stolen en route to Arizona.

The 2-year-old Shepard mix was supposed to be making her way to Melanie Epstein in Tucson, who was waiting to foster Rosie after saving her from a west coast shelter.

"They have to euthanize five dogs every week because they're so over-crowded, they're historically crowded because people have been giving their dogs," Epstein added.

Rosie was eventually located. She was found tied outside a store near Higley and Southern in Mesa. Now her trip to her foster family can resume. The stolen car still has not been found. If you have any information call police.

Credit: Melanie Epstein
Photo of the stolen car that was transporting Rosie.

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