If dogs could sing, 13-year-old Trixie very well might belt out “My Old Kentucky Home.”
On Saturday, the poodle mix will be put on a plane bound for her home in Kentucky after a three-year journey that ended in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart in Turlock.
Trixie’s story began three years prior at her Kentucky home, where one day she just disappeared. Her family put up lost posters and offered a reward for their four-legged family member, but all to no avail.
Fast-forward three years and a stranger finds the little dog wandering in the Turlock parking lot on Monday and takes her to the Turlock Animal Shelter.
Animal Services Officer Katie Butler went about finding Trixie’s family and thought she had hit a dead end when Trixie’s microchip was linked with a disconnected phone number. But the check did offer Butler one clue — Trixie hailed from the Bluegrass State. Butler continued her detective work and was eventually able to locate the Kentucky veterinarian who last treated the pooch, and together they tracked down Trixie’s family.
Hearing their long-lost dog had been found gave the family great elation, but the fact that she was 2,300 miles away was a complete shock. The family had never been to California and so suspect Trixie was the victim of a dognapping.
The family has paid for a plane ticket and is covering expenses to get Trixie home.
“We know that four-legged family members are just as important as the two-legged family members,” said Glena Jackson, Animal Services supervisor. Jackson will be taking Trixie to the Sacramento Airport on Saturday. She asked Trixie’s family to send a video of the reunion in Kentucky to share and they agreed happily.
“Our Animal Services Staff routinely goes above and beyond for the community,” said Chief Nino Amirfar. “We are very proud of our Animal Services staff and the compassion they have.”
No one knows at this point how long Trixie had been in Turlock, bust she has certainly made an impression during her time at the animal shelter.
"As most pet owners know, animals become a part of our family," said Mayor Gary Soiseth. "I'm glad our dedicated Animal Service Officers were able to make this reunion possible by going the extra mile, even driving Trixie to the airport this Saturday. While Kentucky is home, Trixie will always be welcomed back to Turlock and I will be naming Trixie as the first ‘Pet of the Year’ award recipient at the June 13 City Council meeting."
Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call ASO Katie Butler at 209-656-3140. You can also contact the Turlock Police Department’s Tip Line at 209-668-5550 extension 6780 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.