Mary Shannon Johnstone, Duplin County Animal Services/Facebook

Shoplifting and petty theft are no laughing matter—except when the culprit is a cute canine kleptomaniac determined to liberate a certain stuffed purple unicorn from the confines of a North Carolina Dollar General store.

Mary Shannon Johnstone, Duplin County Animal Services/Facebook

According to the store staff, the dogged doggo was a repeat offender—making five separate attempts to be reunited with his favorite cuddle-buddy.

“The store called and said they had a stray dog in the parking lot that kept coming into the store,” Joe Newburn, head of the County Animal Services Department, told McClatchy News. “He’d walk in, go to that unicorn and try to get it. He did it four or five times before they locked the door and called us to come get him. Maybe he had a stuffed animal like that in his original home. I don’t know, but he wanted that purple unicorn bad.”

The persistent “pup-a-traitor” was eventually collared but rather than the hoosegow, he found himself at the local animal shelter, where he was booked in as a stray and given the name Sisu (a nod to a character in Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon).

While Dollar General might have been hard-pressed to sell a plushie covered in doggie drool, Samantha Lane, the animal control officer tasked with escorting Sisu to the shelter decided it was in everyone’s best interest to keep the pair together, so she purchased the $10 toy and took it along.

“He kept going to that one particular unicorn,” Lane told Inside Edition. “He likes to sleep on it, lay on it… He just loves his unicorn.”

Mary Shannon Johnstone, Duplin County Animal Services/Facebook

Not long after his arrival, the shelter posted pictures of Sisu and a report of his exploits to their Facebook page, saying: “This is what happens when you break into the Dollar General consistently to steal the purple unicorn… but then get Animal Control called to lock you up for your B&E and larceny.”

MORE: This Teen Makes Tiny Bow Ties for Shelter Dogs to Help Them Look Spiffy and Get Adopted

Almost immediately, they were inundated with praise for the thoughtful animal control officer as well as interest from potential adopters.

RELATED: Cuddling in Freezing Temperatures, Newborn Calf and Collie Become Adorable Best Friends

Although he’ll have to wait out his stray hold, shelter updates indicate that Sisu has new pet parents waiting in the wings to bring him—and his BFF unicorn—home.

Along with a thank-you gift for Officer Lane and a pet food donation to Duplin County Animal Services, Dollar General plans to send a “few extra purple unicorns for the adoptive family,” company spokesperson Crystal Luce told People.

Mary Shannon Johnstone, Duplin County Animal Services/Facebook

Now, while we firmly believe in the adage “crime doesn’t pay,” for this heart-stealing hound with an unwavering devotion to stuffed his unicorn, we’re willing to make an exception.

WOOF Your Approval of This Good News—Share the Story With Pals…

North Carolina-based writer Judy Cole has a new rom-com murder mystery debuting on Amazon: And Jilly Came Tumbling After (from Red Sky Presents).


  1. I totally get this story! My adopted “Buddy”, ( see comments), he so wanted this stuffed bear w/hearts sitting up on a shelf when we got him( kept jumping up trying to get it, before we left!)The gal said, we could have it. After 6 yrs. I have sewn & repaired 5 exact bears. That is his comfort & he greets everyone with it. “Love is Love”~TY! for sharing🥰

Leave a Reply