MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis police need your help finding a man they say is responsible for stealing a puppy worth $5,000 from a Memphis pet store.

Police say the accused thief went to the Petland pet store on Giacosa Place in the Wolfchase area on July 1 and told employees he wanted to look at a Doberman Pincher puppy.

When the suspect was given the Doberman, police say he fled with the puppy which was worth $5,500.

Police believe the suspect was driving a white Lexus SUV.

Katie Pemberton with Memphis Animal Services made this statement:

It’s unfortunate that anyone feels the need to steal a pet when there are hundreds of pets waiting for homes in our local shelters and rescues.

Petland, the store the dog was stolen from has been mired in controversy ever since it was announced they were coming to Memphis. There was even a petition to keep it from opening up.

The Humane Society of the United States say Petland is the only national pet store chain in this country that still sells dogs and cats.

Animal activist says the company has a history of getting animals from puppy mills and mistreating them.

Petland, denied that claim in a statement writing in part

Petland’s number one priority has always been the health and welfare of its pets. they went on to say Petland does not buy from puppy mills, which are unregulated, unlicensed facilities.

Police say they also recovered a stolen weapon from the scene.