WHITES CREEK, Tenn. (WKRN) — The owners of Piccolo Farms Animal Sanctuary are asking for the public’s help finding two white turkeys they fear could be used for a Thanksgiving feast, and they’re warning other turkey owners after discovering they aren’t the only victims of the crime.
Bonnie Glueck and her husband started Piccolo Farms with the goal of treating animals as friends, not food.
However, on Friday, Oct. 28, Glueck found something strange when she went out to feed the animals: meat scraps and feathers on the ground.
“There was black feathers everywhere from the Tom showing a struggle, and there was white feathers all over the ground here where the girls definitely tried to struggle,” Glueck said.
Although the Tom turkey was still there, two other birds — Mommy and Olive, who happen to be mother and daughter — were missing.
Following the incident, Glueck thought back to a strange interaction from the week before involving a man asking to buy their turkeys.
“When I told him we wouldn’t sell them because it’s a sanctuary, he got very hostile with me. And so he was very aggressively telling me that I needed to sell him these birds and I ended up saying, like, ‘I’m going to need you to leave please,'” Glueck said.
Glueck posted the story on social media, and dozens of turkey owners flocked to the comments claiming they experienced something similar.
“We know now this isn’t a one time thing,” Glueck said. “It’s been happening all over Middle Tennessee and Kentucky. A large tom turkey that is the same breed that they took from here, the same breed as our girls, they took from somewhere in Kentucky, but it’s been going on for at least a year,” she added.
“We’ve been toying with (why someone would steal turkeys) for days, and we’ve gone over so many different scenarios in our heads,” Gleuck said. “The initial scenario was to eat them, but now noticing they’ve been doing this all over the place and they’re stealing similar kinds of birds, (we think) they’re doing this for breeding or selling the birds, something other than eating.”
Now, Glueck is worried about the fate of the missing birds.
“My fear is that they’re probably dead, and if they’re not dead, they are being held long enough to where they can get them a little bit chubbier for Thanksgiving,” Glueck said. “Either that or they’re being sold.
Not giving up hope, though, Glueck is begging the community to be on the lookout for Mommy and Olive.
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“They’re just the sweetest girls. I mean, we know them, they’re like our children,” Glueck said. “And all I can think about is how scared they are and how upset they must be and it hurts my heart.”
If you have any information about these missing turkeys, you are asked to call Piccolo Farms directly at 615-428-4551 or contact them through social media.