'Very happy owners': Puppy returned after being stolen from balcony

An 11-week old puppy has been reunited with her owners after she was stolen from a balcony.

NSW Police were called to investigate after Athena, the 11-week-old American Staffordshire Terrier, was stolen from a home on Parry Street in Cooks Hill, on the NSW Central Coast, on Wednesday about 2.30pm (local time).

Officers from the Newcastle City Police District started investigating and appealed to the public for help.

Athena, an 11-week-old puppy, was stolen from a home in Cooks Hill on Wednesday. Source: NSW Police

A few days later on Saturday, officers from the Lake Macquarie Police District stopped a 34-year-old man with the alleged stolen puppy in Toronto, 27km southwest of Cooks Hill.

The officers were acting on a tip from the community, NSW Police said in a statement.

The man who allegedly stole the dog was arrested and taken to Toronto Police Station.

The 34-year-old man was then charged with stealing a dog and possessing a stolen dog, he was granted conditional bail and will appear in Toronto Local Court on March 10.

In court, police will allege the man saw the dog while walking past the Cooks Hill home and stole her.

The 11-week-old puppy was reunited with her owners – but after officers got photos with her. Source: NSW Police

“The dog was taken to Belmont Police Station, where she was given water and playtime, before being taken back to her very happy owners,” NSW Police said.

Athena also posed with the police officers at the station, making for some cute Facebook photos, with many expressing they were very happy she was found.

“Well done, officers! Glad pupper was found safe and returned to proper human,” one person wrote.

“Maybe the thief would consider adopting one from a shelter instead of stealing next time.”

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