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Friday, January 30, 2015

Thomas T. Butterball
Thomas T. Butterball, the unofficial turkey mascot of the Lakeview Animal Sanctuary died Wednesday, the sanctuary announced late Thursday night.

"Tom" was rescued by the shelter in 2001, in the sancuary's infancy. As the sanctuary became more involved in community events, the turkey became more and more recognizable, often wandering around crowds to the delight of children and adults alike.

He was taken care of by Ricky Ostrum, who accompanied him to area events.

"Tom and Ricky often would arrive at a social event, Ricky opening the car door for him, and short of a red carpet, Tom was center stage," the sanctuary said via its Facebook page last night.

The sanctuary's full post follows:
RIP♥ Tom T. Butterball

We can all relate to the heartache and sorrow of losing a beloved pet. Yesterday, we said farewell to our special LAS pet and friend, Thomas T. Butterball. Our Lakeview animals are never selected by members, but how God has placed them to be cared for in a reason. Tom the turkey was rescued after Sandi received a nuisance call in 2001. She immediately saw his unique personality waiting to bloom, and his status in the community and Sanctuary began to rise. With hundreds of appearances at events, Tom had developed a fan base of many, young and old who would specifically come to pet or visit Tom. His strut and confidence was bold but friendly and he would enjoy being the center of attention often. Always accompanying him and holding a mirror for Tom to follow around and look at himself was longtime caregiver Ricky Ostrum,..who diligently looked after our beloved turkey sharing his story and facts with fans and friends. Tom and Ricky often would arrive at a social event, Ricky opening the car door for him, and short of a red carpet, Tom was center stage.

Tom was fortunate of having a turkey companion to enjoy his years with, and the two relaxed together at the home and caretaker of Jackie Perry, occasionally having duel appearances and events together. It was a good life. Overcoming health obstacles with generous care taking, Tom endured an unusually extra long life of fourteen years, almost double that of a fellow turkey. Anyone who has ever met Thomas T. Butterball will have a special memory to share and keep in their hearts as that would be the proper tribute to remember him by. Thomas T. Butterball you were loved greatly, and will be sorely missed by many. You gave many the idea and option that turkeys are really for vegetarians. 

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