As the devastating EF-4 tornado approached his house Sunday Sunday in Washington, Ill., Jon Byler Dann sent his wife and four children to the basement. He tried to lure his dog, Maggie, to come out of her kennel, but the frightened 11-year-old Sheltie mix refused to budge.
With no time to spare, Dann had to leave the dog in her kennel.
When Dann and his family emerged from the basement after the storm passed, their entire house was in ruins, according to the Weather Channel. They figured there was no way that Maggie could have survived.
But the next day, while sifting through the debris, family members heard the faint sound of barking below them. They started digging, and beneath the rubble found Maggie. She was alive, but in pain.
“She was rolled up in a carpet that was from a different floor of our house than she was on,” Dunn wrote on his Facebook page. “There was a lot of debris on top and a huge piece of masonry.”
Dann, who has had Maggie since she was a 4-month-old puppy, burst into tears when he saw her.
“I felt intense relief and elation but also just panic,” he told the Weather Channel. “I’m very thankful and blessed to have my wife and my children. And finding my dog today was just unreal.”
Maggie is being treated at the Teagarden Veterinary Clinic for some serious injuries, but she is expected to survive.
“Maggie is okay,” Dunn wrote yesterday. “She has a dislocated hip and is under sedation tonight. … So glad she is still with us!”
To make a donation to help pay Maggie’s veterinary bill, send a check to Teagarden Veterinary Clinic, 2323 Eureka Rd., Washington, IL 61571; call the clinic at 309-444-2311 or 309-467-4655; or email email@example.com.
If your dog has gone missing after the storms in Illinois:
- Call Tazewell County Animal Control at 309-925-3370. “Nearly all pets being recovered by animal control are being reunited immediately,” according to its Facebook page, on which photos of missing pets are being posted. “The officers on scene and at the shelter are working very hard right now to ensure all pets are being recovered and reunited with their owners as quickly and safely as possible. Many people are not contacting us when they find a pet; please do so.”
- Check the Illinois Tornado Animals Lost & Found Facebook page, where people are posting photos of pets found in Pekin, Peoria and Washington.