Non-traditional Thanksgiving tale involves 40 pound tortoise


by SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News and photojournalist DATHAN HULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheltonG_KVUE

Posted on November 21, 2012 at 11:14 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 22 at 9:44 AM

BUDA, Texas – A non-typical Thanksgiving holiday left one Buda pet owner very happy and very grateful. 

“Never give up,” said pet owner Donna. 

For the past several months Donna had posted fliers about her missing pet Tortoise, a 40 pound African Sulcata she named John Wayne who escaped from her backyard when he broke through a metal gate. 

Little did she know, weeks later and miles away in San Marcos, someone had seen the wandering tortoise and turned him into an Animal Rescue. 

San Marcos Mayor Daniel Guerrero who is also a pet lover adopted the tortoise and brought him home. 

Through the power of social media, Guerrero had also posted pictures of the new addition to his family. 

Different circles of Hays County residents who had seen the fliers and Facebook pictures began to put two and two together. 

Three months after he disappeared, “Leonard” as he was named at the Animal Rescue was reunited with his rightful owner Donna. 

“I couldn't breathe for a whole week until I got him. I grinned, I cried. I just look out and I see him eating like he's supposed's good.  It's good,” said Donna. 

The mayor said the reunion was bittersweet but mostly sweet. 

“It was certainly tough for me because I had grown so fond of him, but especially for my dogs.  My dogs had become accustomed to him as well, I mean he was just another dog to them,” said mayor Guerrero.


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