Kim Hopkins’ dog Deuce was stolen from her yard six years ago when she was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
In September, the veteran got a call that Deuce, who is micro-chipped, had been found.
The only problem: The 7-year-old pitbull was more than 2,500 miles away, and couldn’t fly commercial airlines.
With help from social media, a group of 17 volunteers began driving Deuce across the country on Friday, KOMO News reported. Hopkins picked him up in Puyallup on Monday afternoon.
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“It was pretty awesome,” said Hopkins, who has lived in Olympia since 2015. “... It was kind of a blur because I was so nervous all day and I was sitting in my office, and I couldn’t really focus on it much. To have him back is just so great. It feels so good.”
Brother Wolf Animal Rescue posted photos of Deuce and his journey on Facebook. Deuce was at the animal rescue center for about two months because of a respiratory infection and some other health issues.
Before that, Deuce was at a shelter in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and was scheduled to be put down a few days later if not claimed.
The GoFundMe page “Bring Deuce Home” coordinated volunteer drivers for the dog’s trip to Olympia, and is raising money for gas, food and accommodations along the way. As of Monday afternoon, it had raised about $650.
Hopkins said it is hard to tell if Deuce remembers her. She said it might take some time for them to get reacquainted.
“He is probably the most relaxed dog you’ll meet,” she said. “All the drivers just loved him. He loves to ride in the car.”
She said she’s grateful to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, Julianna Lambert of Arizona who helped coordinate Deuce’s trip, and everyone who helped make the reunion a success.
“It’s heartwarming,” Hopkins said. “This is a good reminder that there are awesome people out there.”