Possum the dog has been found safe and well on the side of State Highway 1, nearly two weeks after being stolen along with a truck.

Possum had been waiting inside his owner's truck when the vehicle was stolen from Mount Maunganui on Thursday, September 8.

The five-year-old fox terrier was found on the roadside of State Highway 1, just south of Turangi.

Police said the dog's identity was confirmed by his microchip.


The stolen truck remained outstanding.

Possum's owner Wayne Stachurski said as soon as he got the call from a dog ranger in Taupo that Possum had been found he hit the road to pick him up and bring him home to his son Elliott, 9.

"We're very relieved. We never gave up hope but were becoming fearful he would never be seen again," Mr Stachurski told the Bay of Plenty Times while he was driving home to Thames with Possum in the backseat.

He said whoever had Possum for the past two weeks had taken good care of him, "he's been looked after, looks healthy and had been getting well fed,"

Mr Stachurski was happy to be getting Possum back to his son - who was also over the moon his beloved pet had been found.

"He had been pretty sad through the weekend, missing his Possum."

Possum himself was excited to be reunited with his owner. "He was running around in circles and his tail wagging away - though he does that with everyone, he's a really friendly dog."

Mr Stachurski wanted to thank the person who had noticed the little fox terrier by the side of the road and called the local dog ranger.

Mr Stachurski had travelled to Tauranga with Possum for work two weeks ago and had left the dog in the back seat of his Nissan Nevara while attending a meeting at Club Mount Maunganui.

When he returned after the meeting, the car and Possum were nowhere to be seen.

Talking to the Bay of Plenty Times shortly after Possum was stolen, Mr Stachurski said he had hoped whoever took the truck would have the decency to drop him off somewhere - and it appeared they did, two weeks later and about 200km from Tauranga.