After Texas and Oklahoma tornadoes, there are reunions and helpers

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Last week our shelter outreach team began contacting members in Texas to see what was needed after 10 tornadoes tore through North Texas last Wednesday night. The Petfinder Foundation began to coordinate efforts to help shelters assist those who had lost everything.

Izzy is an adoptable dog in north Texas near the devastation.

Then yesterday, a massive tornado destroyed whole neighborhoods near Oklahoma City. Our shelter outreach team worked to coordinate efforts with neighboring and national organizations to contact our members in the areas of Southern Oklahoma City and Moore, Oklahoma. In addition, the team began keeping a close eye on social media to see the on-the-ground needs.

Phones and electricity are unavailable in much of the affected areas so by working with others and using social media, our team will be better able to help. In addition, they are working with the Petfinder Foundation to better respond to needs and requests. If you are with a shelter or rescue group who needs help after these storms, please email us at pets@petfinder.com so that we can assist you.

There is much devastation and sorrow in Texas and Oklahoma, but the spirit of hope that we’ve seen from news reports and those already working to heal others and themselves amazes us. Jerry Shuttlesworth in Texas, according to CBS news, had lost his mobile home, but said it was a “miracle” that he had been reunited with his dog, Junior. Shuttlesworth had lost his dog in the storm. Friends shared the news about Junior on social media. Junior was found on Friday and taken to a shelter. A worker there called Shuttleworth who had his miracle. What he said to CBS news made my eyes tear up for this man who so clearly loves his dog, “He’s my baby. I don’t care about anything else.”

Another inspiring reunion was unexpectedly captured on film by CBS news in Oklahoma. I encourage you to watch the video, but suggest that you keep some tissues nearby. I love that the reporter and her assistant reach in to help the woman and her dog. I doubt I could have kept my composure nearly as well. Please consider reaching out to help however you can. Our outreach team will continue working to see what we can do. Pets are family and so many shelters now are already in need and yet working hard to help reunite more families.

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