An Edmonton woman reunited her pit bull with seven of its puppies Thursday, a week after someone stole the litter from a garage in Mill Woods.
"I was just freaked out with joy," said Lisa Morrey, who had posted a desperate plea online for the puppies' safe return.
"They shouldn't have been away from their mom," she said about the six-week-old pit bulls.
Morrey described the reunion as bittersweet — two puppies are still missing.
"There's just happiness and joy but still sadness," she said.
A man contacted Morrey through Facebook, claiming he knew about pit bull puppies that matched her stolen litter. He asked to meet in a McDonald's parking lot and promised to bring the animals, Morrey said.
She gathered a group of friends on Thursday and met with the man, who didn't give his name. Morrey said the man told her someone had sold him seven puppies for $200 each.
Then he directed Morrey to a box balanced on the back seat of his car. When Morrey lifted the lid, she found most of her missing litter inside.
"They recognized me right away," Morrey said. "They were jumping, trying to lick my face."
Out of gratitude, Morrey said she offered to give the man a free puppy in six months but he declined.
"He'd like maybe if in the future I could slowly make payments to pay him back," said Morrey, who had posted a $300 reward per dog online.
Registered pit bulls can sell for more than $2,000 in Edmonton, she added. But once her puppies are old enough, Morrey plans to sell them to trusted homes for $600 each.
"I'm not a professional breeder or anything like that," Morrey said. "I'd rather they go to a good home than someone who has a lot of money but is not very good at taking care of animals."
Two female puppies are still missing. Morrey said she's especially keen to find a grey pit bull that was promised to an eight-year-old boy.
"There's an eight-year-old with a broken heart because his puppy's still not found," she said.
"I'm going to keep looking for them and I'm not going to stop until I find them."