Five area people have been arrested for stealing puppies from a nature center in Fayette County.

Authorities filed charges against the following suspects on Monday: Michelle Teel, 31, of Hawkeye; James Degreif, 18, of Wadena; and three juveniles from Hawkeye. Each was charged with third-degree burglary. The three minors were referred to Juvenile Court Services.

Officials said the charges are connected to a recent incident at the Gilbertson Nature Center in Elgin. On Wednesday, a park ranger called called Fayette County sheriff's officials after discovering that the petting zoo had been broken into, and two puppies were stolen.

Photo from Fayette Co. Sheriff

Following a two-day investigation, sheriff's officials recovered both puppies. The unharmed dogs have since been returned to the nature center.