Far be it for us to encourage further misconduct, but dogged persistence paid off in a big way for this determined pup!

It was the third week of March when the pup prowler scoped the parking lot, waiting for the right time to make his move. No disguise, no planned getaway. Whenever the store door opened, he dashed in and headed straight for the innocent, unsuspecting unicorn. Four or five times he did this, according to the News and Observer, until he was finally thwarted by employees of the Kenansville, N.C. Dollar General, who locked the door and called Duplin County Animal Services. 

Joe Newburn, the county's animal services department head, said, "Maybe he had a stuffed animal like that in his original home. I don't know, but he wanted that purple unicorn bad," reported the News and Observer.

Tan pitbull mix cuddles with purple stuffed unicorn
Credit: Courtesy of Duplin County Animal Services

Animal Control Officer Samantha Lane responded to the call and stealthily purchased the $10 stuffed treasure. The pup, once again stationed in the parking lot, eyed her from a distance. But when she put the unicorn in her front seat, he "came along willingly," Newburn said in the News and Observer story. And although crime doesn't pay, Lane found it in her heart to grant clemency and let the pup keep his beloved toy. No word as to how the unicorn felt about the arrangement.

Duplin County Animal Services posted on its Facebook page that the stray, who shelter employees named Sisu, was "sassy with other dogs and will not tolerate any backtalk. Very vocal. Should be an only animal or some training. Very obedient with people. Knows sit, lay, heel, and loves unicorns from Dollar General."

Of course, the interwebs went berzerkers for the brazen bandit, demanding someone take in this stray from the streets (apparently, he wasn't microchipped) and shower him with all the stuffed animals across the land. A generous individual even paid the adoption fees for Sisu, making it easier for him to be set free.

His plight caught the attention of TV stations and other news agencies. Donations poured in. Unfortunately, there wasn't any word from Sisu's original owners.

But while developing this story, we received an update that Sisu has been adopted, and will be with his new family soon! According to People, Dollar General spokesperson Crystal Luce said the company plans to send a few extra purple unicorns his way.