I live in Illinois, and for awhile on Sunday was in the path of the storm that caused massive damage to the town of Washington and went on to do damage in Coal City and Frankfort, both towns in my vicinity. It was just one of many severe storms that hit Illinois and neighboring states that day, and I was lucky. I only dealt with the heavy rain portion of the storm, with the tornadic portion staying south of me. Others, of course, were not so lucky, including Washington, Illinois resident Jon Byler Dann, who lost his home in the storm and thought he had lost his dog as well. That is where the story goes from sad, to touching and amazing, with an additional lesson for how people can come together to help in devastating situations.
After the storm, Dann posted a photo of the destruction to his public Facebook page, noting that his family was safe but that they had lost their dog Maggie, who had refused to leave her Kennel. After the storm, she was presumed permanently lost. However, sadness turned to joy when, 30 hours later, Maggie was miraculously found buried under debris and wrapped incarpeting. She was injured, but alive. You can read the entire story and see the touching photos on the Weather Underground Website.
What I find even more touching is what happened afterward. Dann reported that Maggie had broken bones and possibly internal injuries. From there, a call arose on Reddit to raise funds to pay for Maggie’s vet bills and aid other animals in need from the storm. By the time I started writing this blog post, Maggie’s bills had been paid. Any further money collected will go to assist other animals in the area in need. Things like this are a nice reminder of how all it takes is a bit of internet communication to reach out and touch lives.
In addition, the Illinois Tornado Animals Lost & Found page has arose to assist tornado victims in finding their lost pets.
An Illinois woman has also launched a Facebook page to help people recover lost photos. Photos, papers, and other items have been found across the Chicago area following the storm, and the page is a way to reunite owners with their memories.
Update (11/20/13): Read more about Dann’s story and other pet reunions in this new Chicago Tribune Article.
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