(DOGS/ANIMAL RESCUE) ILLINOIS — Jon Byler Dann lost his home to the devastating tornado that recently struck Washington, Illinois, but he is very fortunate that his wife and four children are still alive.

Sadly, there was another important member of the family who was stuck in harm’s way.

Before the storm, Byler Dann tried coaxing the family dog, Maggie, into the basement with the rest of his family. However, Maggie was too agitated to enter the safe room, so Byler Dann was forced to leave her upstairs to protect the rest of his family.

After the storm passed, he discovered the destruction of his five-year home, assuming Maggie was dead. A day and a half later, when he returned with friends and family to search through the rubble, he made a shocking discovery.

Relive his story in the gallery below.

Jon Byler Dann’s home was destroyed in the recent Illinois tornadoes.
Thirty hours later, a team searching through the rubble heard a faint bark coming from beneath the destruction.
The search team miraculously discovered Maggie buried beneath the rubble, wrapped in a piece of carpet.
Maggie was shaking and injured, but she was alive.
Byler Dann was instantly overcome by tears. He never thought he would see Maggie again.
After being rescued, it was discovered that Maggie needed surgery for her hip.
Later, online donations led to Maggie's surgery being paid for in-full by compassionate strangers.
After giving her water, Byler Dann immediately documented her survival.
Maggie was treated for a dislocated hip, but is doing well. Byler Dann has cared for the 11-year-old dog since she was 4 months old.

I felt intense relief and elation but also just panic, Byler Dann said after finding Maggie injured. I’m very thankful and blessed to have my wife and my children. And finding my dog today was just unreal.

Donations poured in from all over the country to cover the cost of Maggie’s care, eventually exceeding the goal by more than $1,500.

It really says a lot about the generosity of people, and our country, he added. People who have seen the story and want to donate, and we tell them that we’ve got enough for Maggie, but they say just put it towards other patients.

Animal lovers everywhere should be inspired knowing their influence helps preserve the delicate lives of their most precious companions.

— Kayla Newcomer, exclusive to Global Animal

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