Denver family reunited with dog that was inside stolen SUV

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DENVER -- A Denver family has been reunited with its dog who was inside of its SUV when it was stolen.

On Saturday, Patty Meronk confirmed her dog Lily is home safe after the family received an anonymous tip.

Lily, a 1-year-old Brittany, was inside the Meronks' 2008 black Honda CR-V when it was stolen in downtown Denver on Monday.

The family offered a $1,000 reward and contacted the FOX31 Problem Solvers in an effort to spread the word and get Lily returned.

Meronk says she received an anonymous tip about 12:30 a.m. Saturday. It led her and her husband, Shane Meronk, to an apartment complex in Centennial.

The couple found the SUV with Lily inside.

“I didn’t care what time it was. I was exhausted, she was exhausted, Patty was exhausted,” Shane said. “She looked at us like, ‘hey, why I am in this car? Why am I not out there?' and an hour later, she was free.”

The Honda's license plates had been swapped. The Meronks called police, who then impounded the SUV, which will be processed for fingerprints.

Patty says Lily was hungry and thirsty but is otherwise OK. She said the dog is in good spirits.

"Thank you so much for taking the time," Patty said to FOX31 reporter Vicente Arenas.

Patty believes our original story about Lily is what led to her being found, as it is the only place where Shane's phone number was publicly posted, and that is where the anonymous tip was sent.

“I am so happy. There are no words for the support, the shares, the prayers,” Patty said.

Nicole Fierro contributed to this report.

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