Record-setting tornadoes recently ripped through multiple states. The unprecedented storm left a wake of destruction more than 200 miles long. While the death count is still climbing, thousands of families continue their struggle to access even the most essential items.
The tornado – which is estimated to have reached 30,000 feet in altitude – has scattered personal items hundreds of miles. Kentucky, which was the hardest hit, has been littered with pictures and heirlooms all across the state. In any given city or town, residents are finding family pictures, checks, and a multitude of other items that were picked up by the storm and catapulted to backyards, farm fields, and parking lots clear across the commonwealth, sometimes spanning into surrounding states.
The importance of these seemingly small items didn’t go unnoticed. The Facebook group, Quad State Tornado Found Items, was started in an attempt to reunite cherished heirlooms with their families. People are thrilled to recover even half of a tattered picture, many of which captured loved ones who lost their lives in the storm. Among these precious things that have been lost and found are family pets looking for their homes.
The Forgotten Victims Are Still Waiting To Be Rescued
Mayfield and Dawson Springs, Kentucky were among the hardest hit. Previously, these small towns had a combined population of under 15,000. The tornadoes destroyed thousands of homes, farms, and businesses. Rescuers, locals, and disaster relief organizations have been combing the streets of these once-picturesque small towns trying to piece together any salvageable form of life.
Every once in a while, a resident or rescue worker will come across a four-legged friend wandering lost among the debris. In a true demonstration of Kentuckians’ warmth and honesty, others will add their comments offering their support or their ideas of who the dog belongs to. People who faired better than their friends and family are often seen offering to take the dogs into their own homes until they can be returned to a home of their own.
Thankfully, like many of the family photos, dogs are being reunited with their families through the power of social media. Those whose families are unable to be found, or who tragically lost their lives, are being taken in by local shelters.
In addition to the incredible work being done on Facebook, families looking for their lost furry friends can also register on PetFBI.org. This database allows families to enter their pet’s information so that they can have a better chance of being reunified.
Help Is Still Needed As Response Efforts Continue
Each day, more and more pets are posted to Quad State Tornado Lost and Found and its sister group, Quad State Tornado Lost & Found Pets. As of the writing of this article, local shelters are still in need of supplies:
Mayfield-Graves County Animal Shelter
- Cat litter
- Cleaning supplies
- Wet cat food
- Gallons of water
Humane Society of Marshall County
- Leashes and collars
- Litter Pans
Mashall County Animal Care and Control
- Thick blankets
- Cat litter
McCracken County Humane Society
- Dawn dish liquid
- Canned puppy food
- Clumping litter
In addition to the above shelters, The Bowling Green-Warren County Animal Shelter, Max’s Hope Pet Rescue, Christian County Animal Shelter, and the Muhlenberg County Humane Society are taking in strays and helping them find their families.
Despite the devastation, these dogs are making the best of it. Their perseverance is a shining light of hope for the future ahead. Just like any other day, these pups continue to teach us all important life lessons, like the fact that sometimes we all just need a break to regroup and keep pushing on.