PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Four show dogs inside a Mercedes van when it was stolen early Saturday were reunited with their owners on Sunday.

Vandra Huber, who owns 2 of the 4 terrier puppies that were ready to go to the Rose City Classic Winter Dog Show, told KOIN 6 News she got hundreds of tips in about 22 hours until her husband got the call they hoped for.

“This guy has called and I believe he actually has the dogs,” Huber said. “And he did, indeed, have our puppies in the back of his car.”

The saga began around 7:45 am. Saturday when the pups, crated for the ride to the Expo Center, were left in a Mercedes cargo van that was left running in the parking lot of the Oxford Suites at Jantzen Beach.

Around 6:30 a.m. Sunday, the van was spotted in Vancouver by a man who told Huber he wasn’t interested in the $10,000 reward. She said the man told her he spotted the van after seeing it on the news.

“He said he took the dogs out of the van,” Huber said. “The puppies were all safe and sound. No harm but the young puppies were now a bit shy but that will turn around very quickly.”

The vehicle was completely trashed, she said. The tires were slashed and the center console was ripped out. But Huber said she’s happy the puppies are now safe and sound.

4 stolen show dogs were recovered safely within a day, January 22, 2023 (PPB)
4 stolen show dogs were recovered safely within a day, January 22, 2023 (PPB)

“I guess we’ll be heading back down to Portland once we find out how badly damaged the van is but the key thing is that we got the children back through hard work and diligence,” said Huber, who lives in King County, Washington. “I don’t know what else to say but the support that we got, that’s what kept us going.”

Huber said once everything checks out she plans on naming one of her newest puppies after the man who spotted the van and returned the dogs without asking for a reward. She’s also grateful for the help from the Portland police.

“We all cried a lot, tears of joy this time instead of tears of panic and sadness that our children were missing,” she said, “because these are my family.”