Riverside County, CA – Over a decade ago, a cat named Butters exited his family’s San Diego home through a dog door and vanished. According to the Castellino family, the abundance of predators near their home led them to fear the worst…Butters was dead. They told ABC 7 News:
“We went looking for him and our assumption was the coyotes got him because there’s a canyon nearby, and we didn’t much think about it after that except that we were sad he was gone.”
Years passed with no sign of the missing tabby cat and eventually, the Castellino family moved out of California to a home in Stanwood, Washington.
Unbeknownst to the family, Butters was still very much alive and he managed to wander into the yard of a Riverside County animal control officer. In a news release, the animal welfare agency said:
Riverside County Animal Control Officer Dalton Churchwell noticed a cat roaming around his backyard on Oct. 1 in Blythe.
Officer Churchwell captured the stray cat and scanned him for a microchip. The information showed that the cat’s name was Butters and he had been reported missing from his San Diego home in 2011.
Amazingly, Officer Churchwell was able to reach Butters’ owners who were “ecstatic” to learn that their long-lost cat was alive and well. Riverside County Animal Services recounted how Butters was reunited with his distant family.
Upon hearing the story, The ASK Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the support, education and communication of programs that support the Department of Animal Services, stepped up and offered to fund the cost of a flight to Seattle that saw Butters safely returned to his family.
Butters’ reunion happened when Riverside County Department of Animal Services’ 10-year volunteer Larry Rudolph personally delivered Butters to the Castellanos in Seattle on Saturday, Oct. 7.
Carolyn Badger, President of the ASK Foundation, said:
“We were thrilled to work with the Department of Animal Services to make this reunion possible. It was such a wonderful story and we are very happy to know that Butters is home and safe with his family.”
This is another microchip success story – please ensure that your pets have a microchip, and don’t forget to keep your contact information up-to-date!
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