WINNSBORO, TX (KLTV) - An East Texan is at the center of a story that has captured local and national media almost overnight.
Cathleen the dog grabbed the hearts of ultimately thousands of people after her story was shared by the Seminole Animal Shelter and Humane Society in Oklahoma.
Cathleen walked 20 miles - twice - in search of her former owners who had to give her up for adoption. Now, she's been adopted by an East Texas family. Her story got hundreds of shares and comments.
The shelter said that Cathleen's elderly owners were moving and could not keep her anymore, and that a foster family 20 miles from that family had agreed to take care of her until a permanent home could be found.
However, while in the care of the foster family, Cathleen escaped and walked the 20 miles back to her original home. She did it again another day, as well, trying to get back to the place she knew as home.
The shelter posted the heartbreaking story on Facebook on Monday. Winnsboro resident Alicia Fields spotted the post.
Alicia said she immediately went to the shelter's website and filled out an application, expressing her willingness to take in the sweet pup who was in need of a happy home.
Alicia said she thought nothing of it, assuming that out of all people who might apply, they wouldn't choose someone who lived in Winnsboro, Texas. She said she went to bed afterward, never even mentioning any of it to her husband, Steven.
She decided she had better warn Steven about what her adoption application had stirred up.
"I called my husband and said that he probably needed to step away so he could talk to me about something," she laughed. "He thought something bad had happened, but I just didn't want him to yell at me in front of people!"
But Steven didn't yell, she said. He and Alicia have other rescue pets which they consider their children, so it wasn't unusual for her to take in a homeless pet.
Many others applied to take in Cathleen, but the shelter chose to approve the Winnsboro resident. Winnsboro is about three and a half hours from Seminole.
She said that Cathleen will be an inside dog with an enclosed 40-by 45-foot enclosed outdoor area she can enjoy, as well. The shelter also liked that Alicia works from home, so Cathleen will have company all day long, she said.