Dogs abound, missing and found, after Tuesday's tornadoes



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Posted on April 4, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 5 at 11:29 AM

FORNEY — The day after a tornado is like moving day, except you didn't choose it, and nothing's where you left it — including the family dog.

"I hope he got out of the way," Juan Ventura said. "That's what I want to think happened. That he got out of the way."

In fact, Ventura's boxer, Oscar, is missing somewhere in Forney.

Most dogs escaped when the tornado knocked down family fences. That's how Royal Thornton's Yorkie got away.

"All he had was a scratch on his neck," Thornton said.

In a natural disaster, families with animals first check on each other. Then they check on their pets. In fact, most emergency shelters now know they have to allow animals in, or their owners may not come in behind them.

So, with that in mind, think about how upsetting it might be for some people to see a Lancaster animal control officer at first light, coaxing out a scared and dirty bichon, to get it to the shelter.

"So far, we've picked up ten," said officer Jason Renfro. "Ten alive."

But a trip to the pound might just be worth it. After all, that's where Mike Smith reunited with his pit bull, Diamond.

Still, there are more dogs inside waiting for this moment. And outside, too, in places like Allen Jones' back porch, where a lost dog is patiently waiting for his owner.

"He seems like he's a pretty good dog, [just] want to see if he can get his home back," Jones said.

The gate is open. The dog's just not sure where to go.