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Wal Mart Stores : Taken in Kentucky 3 years ago, found thousands of miles away, poodle mix going home

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05/20/2017 | 03:38 am

May 19--"It was like winning the dog lottery for them."

That's how Turlock Police Department Animal Services Supervisor Glena Jackson described telling a Kentucky family that their little poodle mix, Trixie, missing for nearly three years, had been found about 2,200 miles away.

"They were quite shocked, and literally -- when we confirmed Trixie was healthy and happy -- were screaming with joy."

Thad Crews was nearby when his wife, Tammy, was speaking on the phone with Jackson. "My wife was beyond overjoyed, there were tears of happiness," he said from their home in Bowling Green, Ky., on Friday.

The couple almost couldn't believe what they were hearing, because they really didn't expect to see Trixie again. "We don't know what happened to her and still can only assume or guess," he said. The family has never been to California, so believes Trixie was stolen from her yard, police said.

Trixie, who's 13 years old, will be driven to Sacramento International Airport by Jackson on Saturday. The dog will board a plane to Nashville, where the Crewses will pick her up.

Who'll be waiting for her? "I know they have a teenage daughter who this puppy was given to her first week of kindergarten,"Jackson said.

True, Thad Crews said, but that daughter, now a college freshman, is on a five-week medical shadowing trip in Lisbon, Portugal. She won't be there for Trixie's homecoming, though perhaps the couple's other two kids will.

A Turlock resident found the little dog wandering the Walmart parking lot on Monday and brought her to the Police Department. Animal Services staff checked the embedded chip, and though the phone number was bad, it at least revealed Trixie was from Kentucky, police said.

Animal Services Officer Katie Butler determined the veterinarian on record for Trixie, and together they found the Crewses. They said they'd posted fliers, searched the area and offered a reward for her return, but it all amounted to nothing.

The family has paid for the 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," Jackson said in a TPD news release.

Chief Nino Amirfar added, "Our Animal Services staff routinely goes above and beyond for the community. We are very proud of our Animal Services staff and the compassion they have."

Crews said his wife is "a full card-carrying animal lover as you can be." Trixie will be returning to a household that includes three other dogs and three cats. That's about the same as when she left, Crews said, though "Trixie's sister has passed on since," but the family got another dog during her absence.

The Crewses told Jackson they've had a little shrine set up in their home since she disappeared. They planned to leave it in place, she said, until the little dog again sets paw in the house, safe and sound.

Deke Farrow: 209-578-2327

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