McKenzie Catron and Kai FB We Found Kai

When a teen died in a car crash on spring break, a town came together to rescue her dog, and a police officer drove 770 miles to reunite the dog with her family.

Sgt. Jonathon Whaley was the first on the scene of the crash that killed McKenzie Catron who’d been on a spring break trip to Florida from the University of Arkansas. Another teen in the car told the officer that McKenzie’s pit bull Kai had run away after the accident.

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Police started combing the woods looking for the frightened dog, knowing Kai’s safe return might give the girl’s family some small comfort.

People in Dothan, Alabama who’d never met McKenzie joined the search, spreading the word through social media. A lawyer in town posted a $1,000 reward for Kai’s safe return.

“We felt we needed to find the dog,” Sgt. Whaley told WAGA News. “We were going to do whatever we needed to do to reunite this dog with this family.”

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The lawyer who put up the reward money, Benjamin Irwin, ended up finding Kai after two days of searching. With no one to claim the reward, Irwin donated the money to the shelter from which McKenzie adopted Kai.

“We just really wanted this family to have this piece of their family back, something to help remember their daughter,” he told the Birmingham News.

Sgt. Whaley then volunteered to make the 12-hour drive to deliver Kai home to her family, saying he felt “God impressing on me” to make the 770-mile drive to Bentonville, Arkansas.

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Kai was confused and frightened through much of the ordeal, even hesitant when she first got home to McKenzie’s family.

In the video below, as Kai first arrives back in Arkansas, she appears skittish until McKenzie’s boyfriend, Christian, shows up and Kai realizes she’s home.

(WATCH the video below and READ more at the Birmingham News) — Photo: We Found Kai, Facebook

Kai is home, Kenzie❤️Kai, I am gonna miss you sweet love, but I'm so happy to have helped bring you home!

Posted by Ashtyn Whaley on Tuesday, March 22, 2016
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