Dollar General staff reportedly caught the pooch making a beeline for the same plush unicorn toy every time he managed to get inside the store.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 29, 2021. It has since been updated.
A stray dog obsessed with a stuffed unicorn toy at a Dollar General finally got his fairytale ending. Animal control officers received an interesting call from a North Carolina Dollar General store alerting them of a big brown stray dog that had come to the store five times to steal the same stuffed unicorn. "He went straight for the unicorn, the same one every time," Joe Newburn, a supervisor at Duplin County Animal Services, told PEOPLE. "It was so strange, one of the strangest calls I've ever dealt with."
Dollar General employees told animal control officers that they caught the Lab mix darting into the Kenansville store every time a customer opened the doors to exit. Without fail, every time he made it inside, the canine made a beeline for the same plush purple unicorn toy. "Finally, they had to lock the door and called us," Newburn said of how animal control became involved in this cute thief's story. The officer who responded to the Dollar General store's call, Samantha Lane, was so taken by how drawn the playful pooch was to the unicorn that she went ahead and purchased the $10 toy for the dog.
"The only thing we can think is that he came from a home where he had a similar stuffed animal or kids in the home did," Newburn said of the animal's obsession with the dragon plush. According to Newburn, once he had his beloved stuffed animal, the canine was more than happy to head off with Lane to a Duplin County Animal Services shelter where he was named Sisu — after the dragon in Disney's new film "Raya and the Last Dragon." Sisu quickly became popular on social media after Duplin County Animal Services posted a picture of the pup cuddling his coveted unicorn on their Facebook page.
"This is what happens when you break into the Dollar General consistently to steal the purple unicorn that you laid claim to but then get animal control called to lock you up for your B & E and larceny but the officer purchases your item for you and brings it in with you," the department wrote. While Sisu is currently considered a stray intake at the shelter because no one has come forward to claim him, it has become evident that he loves affection. The pooch is said to spend every night curled up with his unicorn toy at the shelter.
"It's so sweet. It's amazing. I mean, he's obviously super smart, and even when we got him to the animal shelter, he's been very obedient. He sits, shakes. Someone should be looking for him," said Newburn. "I don't know of any other reason why he would focus on the unicorn other than he had one at home. If the store had called and said he tore open dog food, that would make more sense but not hunting for a purple unicorn." Sisu's brave escapades also seem to have made him quite popular online as the shelter has received numerous calls from people interested in adopting him.
Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t long before Sisu — and his beloved unicorn — found a new forever home. Duplin County Animal Services said in a Facebook post that the pair has found an adopter and will be moving out of the shelter soon. Meanwhile, Dollar General spokesperson Crystal Luce revealed that Dollar General plans to send a "few extra purple unicorns for the adoptive family," a thank you gift to animal control officer Lane and a pet food donation to Duplin County Animal Services. "We are glad to see Sisu is happy with his new toy!" Luce added.