Families searching for lost pets following tragedy - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Families searching for lost pets following tragedy


While the loss of life in Oklahoma is devastating, losing a family pet can be tragic as well.

Through the rubble,  people are searching for their pets, dogs and cats they truly consider a members of the family.

www.okclostpets.com has pictures of dozens of animals that people are desperately trying to find following the tornado.

We've probably all seen the video on Facebook of the woman finding her dog in the rubble of her home while being interviewed, and fortunately, there are some other similar stories.

Seven year old Merlin, the schnauzer survived a tornado in Nappanee in 2007.

"We were already in bed when we heard the sirens and went running downstairs and he followed us and as soon as we got to the basement the tornado hit and so he was with us and safe," says Pam Hollenberg, who survived the Nappanee Tornado.

Hollenberg is grateful her pets made it through the tornado, her cat was found hiding in a closet the next day.

She couldn't imagine if it had happened differently.

"It would be devastating, yes. He's a member of the family and it's important that he stays safe too," says Hollenberg.

Linda Candler has a lot of experience working with animals, she owns Linda's Camp K-9 and also volunteered during other disasters to reunite pets with their owners.

"To see those people's faces when they come in and their dog is there and it's just amazing," says Candler.

Candler says hundreds of animals were displaced following the Joplin tornado.

She says that's why it's so important to have an emergency kit ready to go at all times with vaccination history, along with food and water for a week.

Plus she says never leave your pet behind and get them micro-chipped.

"Getting it registered to you is the big key. Collars with identification is great, but a micro-chip, you know, they can lose that collar. A microchip goes right back to you," says Candler.

Candler hasn't been asked to help in Oklahoma yet. She says usually emergency officials take a little time to secure the area, make sure things are safe and then they call them in.

They take up shop in a makeshift shelter and just care for the animals until their families find them.     

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