It’s tornado season and the news is full of sad stories: homes destroyed, lives lost, wreckage and ruin all around. There are a few small glimmers of hope and joy as some survive the odds. Here are the stories of a few dogs that have survived the 2015 tornado season.
The Bouchillon family was driving to take shelter at a local school after a tornado warning but wound up meeting the tornado head on. Andy, Brandi, 2-week-old daughter Bailey and beloved dog Tater, were all in the SUV when the tornado crossed their path in Van, Texas on the May 10th. The twister lifted their vehicle off the ground and flipped it over.
Following the accident, they hurried their newborn to the hospital, unaware if Tater had survived. The next morning they went back to the overturned SUV and sitting among the wreckage was Tater, who ran off after the crash. Unharmed and faithfully awaiting his owners return.
The Sole Survivor
Also in Van, Texas was David Tapley a retired Garland Police Detective, known for his work with rescue dogs who sadly perished in the tornado along with his wife Brenda. It was the following morning that the bodies were found. Mr. Tapley was in bed reaching for his wife with one hand while cradling his dog with the other. The dog was the sole survivor of his house and remained in his owners lap. Two other family dogs did not survive the storm that had winds in excess of 130 mph. David and Brenda Tapley were described as devoted church members and well known animal lovers. All three dogs were rescues. The surviving dog was taken to a local animal shelter.
Clem And Missy
Clem Shultz was with his wife Geraldine and dog Missy when a tornado hit their home in Illinois on April 9. When the dust settled his wife was dead, his home was demolished, and his dog was nowhere to be found. A photo and description of Missy was posted to a lost and found pet recovery page, a Facebook page was created for Missy and two days later Missy was spotted and Mr. Shultz was alerted to her whereabouts. He, along with his grandson, hurried to the location to pick her up. She was so traumatized by the events that as soon as she saw her family, she took off running. They followed her as she ran for 2.5 miles before they were able to catch up to her and reassure her that she was safe.
Dallas News Reporter, Andrea Lucia posted this tweet following the tornado that hit Van, Texas.
“Hope your family comes home, little guy. Spotted many other loose dogs today. This one just broke my heart.”
Many dogs and other pets that survive catastrophes are housed in shelters while their families are in transit. You can help by donating money. supplies and fostering pets to relieve the stress on these over crowded shelters.
During Katrina, many people were forced to flee without their pets. As a result New Orleans is overrun by packs of wild dogs that roam the streets.