14 Show Dogs That Were Inside Stolen Van Reunite With Their Owners

The dogs were found abandoned a day after the vehicle was stolen.

Fourteen show dogs that were inside a van when it was stolen from outside a California restaurant have been safely returned to their owners.

Some of the owners were tearful as they were reunited with the dogs at Haven Humane Society in Redding Thursday.

Tony Carter, a Seattle dog trainer, was transporting the animals from Washington to Vallejo, Calif., for a dog show Wednesday when he stopped at an In-N-Out restaurant in Redding.

He left the engine running so his clients' dogs could have air-conditioning while he went inside for a bite to eat.

"Literally, within four minutes, they had stolen that van," Amy McLaughlin, one of the dog owners, told KHSL.

It wasn't until the following day that the dogs were located in a wooded area of Happy Valley. Officers arrived to hear barking from inside the vehicle and broke the window to reach the pups inside.

Redding Police

"Thankfully, all 14 dogs were located inside and were turned over to Animal Control Officers with the Haven Humane Society to be checked out and to be reunited with their owners," Redding police said in a statement.

Authorities are still searching for the suspect, but McLaughlin was relieved the ordeal is over.

"This has been [one of] the most stressful days of my entire life," she said. "These dogs are like my kids."