Alisa Manzelli, Global Animal
After a series of nearly 100 tornadoes tore across 10 U.S. states this past weekend, disaster victims have only just begun picking up the pieces. While many try to recover family valuables, others are in search of their lost pets.
Alabama tornado victim Greg Cook lost everything after a Category-5 tornado ripped through his home last Friday afternoon. Yet while homes can be rebuilt and repaired, Cook rushed home after the storm in search of something he thought he had lost forever: his Chocolate Labrador mix, Coco.
Cook sifted through the debris of what was once his home and crawled through a window to find his dog soaking wet and shaking in a hallway.
Thinking that Coco had died when his home collapsed, Cook couldn’t help but cry tears of joy upon finding his four-legged pal.
“It was just such a relief, I was happy to see him. I love my dog, he’s my best friend and I was just so happy to see him,” said Cook.
A Kentucky woman, Marilyn Walden, was at work Friday when the tornado hit her home in Henryville. She was devastated to find the storm had wreaked havoc on more than half of her home—ravaging the living room and collapsing the bedroom entirely. However, she was even more heartbroken to find no sign of her furry friend, Bear.
In the video below, Walden calls out to Bear as she shifts through the debris that was once her home. After some time, she finally finds Bear, alive and hiding under the bed, covered in dirt and dust.
While an estimated 250 to 500 animals have been directly impacted by the storm, the ASPCA has expanded their outreach. Officials are currently working to establish a shelter-in-place plan where pet families can request sheltering units with kennels, food, bowls, leashes, and collars. The ASPCA has additionally provided an initial $10,000 grant to help animals in need of emergency shelter and veterinary care.