NEWTON (CBS) – Tuukka, named after Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask was supposed to be Carly Williams new pet.

She and her boyfriend picked Tuukka out at Newtonville Pet which was holding the 10-week-old Shih Tzu until a veterinarian cleared the little guy to go home with them.

But that never happened.

A trio of puppy thieves beat them to it.

As the puppies and people mingled, three men came into the store armed with a ferret and a bunch of questions about the animal.

“Right from the start they knew what they wanted,” Lt. Bruce Apotheker said. “To bring a ferret in, it’s a highly unusual animal. What they were looking for was a diversion.”

It wasn’t until the questions ended and the trio purchased a pet-carrier for their ferret and left the store, that clerks noticed the four-pound dog was missing.

The would-be owners hope their signs help find Tuukka. (CBS)

The would-be owners hope their signs help find Tuukka. (CBS)

“The dog may be in a home, they may have been looking to sell it, it may be for one of them,” Apotheker said. “It’s a very expensive dog. It’s a shame because it had a cold so it wasn’t going to be available until the end of the week. Our main concern person or animal is getting help to that person or animal. We’d like to see that dog get back to the store and the person that purchased the dog.”

Tuukka is worth about $1,500 and his want-to-be owners have turned their car into a rolling billboard with the hopes some tipster will spot the puppy if the thieves try to sell him.

The store is currently reviewing its policy of letting puppies fraternize with customers.

The couple is coming up with a backup plan, even though their hearts are with Tuukka.

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