YUBA COUNTY (CBS13) — A Virginia family may have their long-lost dog back in time for the holidays after a terrier found nearly 3,000 miles away in rural Yuba County was traced back to them.

An Oregon woman, Meg Eden, was working with her dogs in the Spenceville Wildlife Area near Beale Air Force Base on Wednesday when she found what appeared to be a stray American Staffordshire terrier and pit bull mix, according to the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department.

“She was very thirsty and very hungry when I found her,” Eden told CBS13. “I’m just happy she took the right fork in the road and found me.”

She cared for the dog overnight and then turned it in to Yuba County Animal Care Services. Staff there did the usual intake process, including scanning for a microchip, and a chip was indeed registered to a clinic in Virginia for an American Staffordshire terrier, the sheriff’s department said.

The clinic contacted Kristen Pruitt of Fredericksburg, Virginia, and she called Yuba County Animal Care Services and confirmed that her family dog, Petunia, had been missing since 2003.

“It was just amazing to me,” said Animal Care Service’s Deborah Lewis. “I kept saying, ‘You’re in Virginia? Because we’re in California.'”

Pruitt and family are anxious for the reunion.

“I’m curious if she’ll remember us,” Pruitt told CBS13’s Ben Sosenko. “She was my husband’s dog. It brings tears to your eyes, it really does. I’ll give her a kiss and a hug.”

Petunia, then 3 years old, went missing from the family farm the Saturday after Thanksgiving that year, according to Pruitt. The family conducted a large search for Petunia but never located her. They have an 8-year-old daughter who was 5 months old when Petunia went missing.

Animal Care Services staff sent Pruitt a photograph of the dog and she was positive the dog was Petunia. Animal Care Services will now assist Pruitt with the process of returning Petunia to her Virginia home, the sheriff’s department said.

Pruitt said the family plans to fly the dog home in the next few days.

Comments (71)
  1. santassidekick says:

    The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
    Andy Rooney

    1. Cousin Eddie says:

      Coming from Andy Rooney, that makes perfect sense. He was notorious for projecting his curmudgeon self on humanity. Sad, really.

      1. Dan says:

        Good job Eddie, you just replied exactly how no dog would ever reply, because dogs are nice.

      2. Triple A says:

        Job job Kuz Ed for prooving Mr. Roony’s point

      3. Al Schork says:

        Hey, Ive got 3 pit bulls, educated with a great sense of humor Leave cousin Eddie alone, he is right. ANDY ROONEY was to journalism as high a ranking reporter as say Geraldo Rivera. Maury Povich, and Al Sharpton. Ass clown best sums it up when it comes to Andy Rooney.

  2. jackie says:

    We was in a crump-‘ ole “im and me;
    Fiightin’ wiv our bayonets was we;
    Fightin’ ard as’ ell we was,
    Fightin fierce as fire because
    It was ‘im or me as must be downed:
    ‘E was twice as big as me;
    I was ‘arf the weight of ‘e:
    We was like a terryer and a ‘ound
    Thank Gawd we still is er this mawin’.

  3. Chuck Cenkner says:

    We love our dog Reiley! We would be heart broken if we lost him!!

  4. tippietoez says:

    This is not a terrier, this is a pit bull. They should all be illegal.

    1. smokehouse56 says:

      Don’t be a damn moron.

    2. Ted Huss says:

      People that don’t know how to raise a dog, or any animal, should be illegal!

    3. Kathy Fawley Frankforter says:

      tippie, before you comment, you should read what was written.

      “American Staffordshire terrier and pit bull mix, according to the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department.”

      It is PART American Staffordshire Terrier – look that up!

    4. ausmth says:

      The only way my neighbors pit would hurt you is if he rolled over on your toes wanting a tummy rub

    5. Wow says:

      A pit bull IS a terrier

      1. LMAO says:

        A pit bull IS a terrier, I am rolling, HAHAHA

        I know your right, but the fact that you have to tell people, who just mouth off,

        Priceless, simply priceless

    6. Jim says:

      Yu should be illegal, you probably are. Don’t blame the breed, blame the owner!!!!!

    7. Dave says:

      A pitbull is a terrier! They were originally a cross between a bulldog and a terrier. I think retrievers should be illegal. They account for more bites in the USA than do pit bulls.

    8. 4sailing says:

      The Pit Bull Terrier acutally has Staffordshire terrier in it’s bloodline – Of course, your ignorance on breeds – especially these breeds is obvousl. You haven’t had any experiences with pitts that warrent this (that’s obvious too) Just another regurgitator without knowledge. You must be lib.

    9. Al Schork says:

      I think using the moniker “tippietoez” says a mouthful. And I’m quite sure I know what its full of. Are those nut prints on your chin?

  5. Ted Huss says:

    Theft of purebred dogs is not uncommon. This dog was probably stolen and resold several times. Very luck she wasn’t sold to an experimental lab, which is quite common in some areas. I had a purebread Golden Retriever stolen out of a vet’s kennel in 1973. Broke my heart. Never did get her back.

    Today, with dopers, thugs, transients and others a larger portion of our culture, this sort of thing is more common. Congratulations on getting the dog back. Kudos for using the chip..

  6. Kathy Fawley Frankforter says:

    Yes, KUDOS for using the chip and being responsible. I am so happy your dog is coming home to you. 🙂 Cute name “Petunia”

  7. Thomas Houck says:

    Reading the comments here, and on on other sites, it is amazing the number of people who do not know the correct usgae of the words; there, they’re and their.

    1. beachteacher says:

      oh, so true, so true : (

  8. URFULOFIT says:

    Staffordshire / pit bull….tomato / tomato. A staffordshire is nothing but a pit bull that is LOST and they want the neighbors to help find him. The flyers on telephone polls never ask for help finding a pit. BUT….when they’re selling puppies in the Walmart parking lot out of the back of a van….THEN they’re pit bulls. PUREBRED pit bulls!

  9. T-Texas says:

    Pits can be docile for years and then maul the owner,or other family members close neighbor,It has nothing to do with training thy were bred to be vicious and this trait is hard to get out.

  10. jobo says:

    I’ll wager a Californian, visiting in Virginia for the Thanksgiving holiday, took the dog back with him…..and then lost or let him go 8 years later. Could a dog really walk across country, stay fed, etc., without at least one person helping the dog?

    Anyway….GREAT conclusion for the dog and family.

  11. Erick Blair says:

    This is way too weird. I have 17 dogs, Really!, They won’t venture a mile from the house, much less 3,000. It seems impossible but alls well that ends well.

  12. thussaiththewalrus says:


    “A Staffordshire is nothing but a pit bull that is LOST and the owners want the neighbors to help find him. BUT….when they’re selling puppies in the Walmart parking lot out of the back of a van….THEN they’re pit bulls. PUREBRED pit bulls!”

    Your explanation is SO PERFECT that it needed to be repeated! A comparison is that IF my little wire fox terrier decided to bite someone (never has; this is just by way of explanation), the person being attacked could force his mouth open with little actual damage done (because my dog can’t “grind” while clenching); Staffordshires have been bred so that their mouths are like bear-traps; literally impossible to open so terrible damage can be inflicted.

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