SHE has become Ballarat’s most famous seven-month-old American Staffy for all the wrong reasons.
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But after being taken from the front yard of her family home five days ago, the community rallied at the children’s distress and now Poppy has been reunited with the ones who missed her most. When Jackie Cherry and her husband David first realised Poppy was missing from their Ballarat home they never knew how far the story of their missing puppy would go. The search for Poppy quickly went viral with more than 170,000 people talking about the Cherry family’s missing Christmas puppy on Facebook.
With the help of social media and the covert investigation by one Maryborough woman who saw the Facebook post, Poppy was found and a 47-year-old man arrested over the alleged theft.
“I never thought of Facebook as being a positive tool, but everyone we spoke to knew about Poppy,” Ms Cherry said.
“My son asked ‘why is everyone helping us’ and I told him because she is beautiful and deserves to be home.” But it wasn’t the only question their five sons had after they found out their first pet dog was gone.
“They cried all day and didn’t sleep,” Ms Cherry said.
After watching CCTV footage with her nine-year-old son Oscar of the alleged thief stealing Poppy from their front yard, Ms Cherry said he only had one heartbreaking question for her.
“He asked me, ‘do they take children too?’,” she said.
“How can you say no?”
But luckily for the Cherry family there was a happy ending. For the Cherry’s it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the community.
“Mel Shelby opened the (Facebook) page and paid with her own money to boost it, she said she wanted it to go far,” Ms Cherry said.
“We had never met her before.
“And Sarah Dalton, she saw the post (Friday) morning and recognised Poppy in Maryborough. She got in her car and followed (the alleged thief), took a photo and called the police.”
The family was out trying to enjoy what was left of their unforgettably horrible school holidays when they received the welcoming call from the ranger telling them their Poppy had been found.
“We all screamed.”
“We all love Poppy, but I didn’t realise how much. She is our first pet, without her it isn’t right. “It really is a truly happy ending.” The ordeal also took its toll on Poppy who slept 14 hours when she got home to her own bed.
“She looked really tired, she cuddled us all before going to sleep,” she said.
“We learnt a hard lesson, but with a happy ending we learnt a bigger lesson of community spirit.”
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