Reuniting pets with families after the Illinois tornado

Reuniting pets with families after the Illinois tornado

Yesterday several tornadoes ravaged the Midwest, leaving at least 6 dead and hundreds of homes destroyed.
There was one bright spot though, this cat (on the above photo) was discovered in the rubble and was reunited with its owner.

Courtney Smith is a 20 year old Washington, IL resident whose family lost everything in Sunday’s devastating tornado Their home was completely destroyed, and Courtney’s car was smashed and damaged beyond repair.

The family’s three dogs were okay and thought that their cat, Chloe is lost forever.

Chloe survived the tornado and was rescued by a neighbor, and a photo of the rescue has been widely shared. She was being removed by the neighbor from Courtney’s demolished car.

The neighbor found the cat in a tree and somehow managed to get her down and put her into the car for safe keeping. Forced herself tightly under the driver’s seat that her rescuers had to remove the seat to get her out.

Courtney wrote on a tornado recovery page that shared the image online: “This is my neighbor who saved my cat! I’m so thankful you found her and didn’t give up on getting her out! Chloe is thankful too, she is a little shaken up still is doing just fine!!”

“[I’m] very blessed to have her safe and sound again!!”

The clean up and recovery efforts are underway after the Illinois Tornadoes swept through several parts of the state. Along with the clean up efforts, some groups have been set up to use the power of social media to help reunite lost and found pets with their families. The unseasonable storm that spawned numerous tornadoes across the Midwest took many people by surprise and when you look at the devastation, it’s a blessing that so many people made it out alive.

Pet Recover Efforts

Many families that have lost their homes or had their home damaged are also searching for their missing pets. There are others that have pulled pets from the rubble or found them wandering in the community that want to connect pets back with their families. Social media has been vital in connecting lost and found pets with their families.

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This dog was rescued from an area devastated by the Illinois Tornadoes yesterday. Photo courtesy of Steve Smedley of The Pantagraph.

The National Disaster Animal Response and Recovery Teams Volunteer Matters or N.D.A.R.R.T. has been very successful in reuniting pets with their families. They’ve set up a page to help with the efforts in Washington. If you are submitting a lost or found pet, please include photos if available, descriptions, gender, spayed/neutered, any collars they may have been wearing, any distinguishing characteristics, city and major cross streets last seen (or where they lived) and Contact information. You may post to the site below or submit directly.

Volunteer at the shelters

If you would like to help volunteer at the shelters around Washington/Pekin/Peoria, send a message to the Washington Lost Pets site – start with volunteer and send your name and phone number. They will reach out when they are ready. Also, along with posting on those sites, also post on these sites as well to help more people see lost and found pets.

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