While driving from Florida to Arkansas for Spring Break, 19-year-old McKenzie Catron died in a single-vehicle car accident March 19 in Dothan, Alabama. Her friend, who was sitting in the passenger seat, survived the crash and was rushed to the hospital. Meanwhile, a third passenger – Kai, Catron’s Pit Bull – survived the crash unharmed, but ran away in the process.
After an exhaustive 10-hour search – which included policemen, firemen, and hundreds of volunteers – Benjamin Irwin, a local lawyer, found Kai behind a nearby dollar store. (Before the search had started, Irwin’s firm had put up a $1000 reward for Kai. That money will now be going to the shelter she was adopted from.)
Irwin told The Dothan Eagle:
We tracked [Kai] down [at the dollar store] and we were all jumping in and out of our vehicles and then finally got her trapped and cornered at a shed. Then we got her in my wife’s jeep.
Sgt. Whaley, a police officer who was on the scene of the accident, took it upon himself to drive Kai two states away to McKenzie Catron’s parents’ home in Arkansas.
Whaley told Fox 5 Atlanta:
We felt we needed to find the dog. We were going to do whatever we needed to do to reunite this dog with this family.
And reunite they did on Tuesday. Check out the tearful reunion below:
Catron’s mother, Kendra Mulherin, told KHBS that Kai would help the family heal in the wake of the tragic loss of her daughter:
For us, [Kai] was just a part of her. And we found [her]. And now we can kind of start healing.
From everyone at BarkPost to Catron’s family, we just want to say – our hearts are with you during this difficult time.
Featured image via Kenzie Catron/Facebook